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Bringing an innovative approach to healthcare

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | September 20, 2021
Sy Johnson
From the September 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

This installment of Hospital Spotlight has us speaking with Sy Johnson from Renown Health, the organization carving out a niche in innovative approaches to healthcare.

HealthCare Business News: What inspired you to follow a career in healthcare?
Sy Johnson: My undergraduate training is in accounting, and I spent the first eight years of my career in public accounting. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with multiple healthcare organizations. I loved the industry because anytime I worked with a healthcare client, I could feel their commitment to the people they were serving. That commitment is what drew me to the industry. When I left public accounting and started looking for my next step, I chose healthcare because I saw it as an opportunity to apply my skills to help people.

I think one thing that grounded me in that transition to healthcare was my grandmother. She was a British nurse in World War II, and I grew up hearing stories about how she took care of people in London during air raids and things like that. It always stuck with me in terms of a calling.

HCB News: How long have you been with Renown?
SJ: Six years.

HCB News: What drew you to the organization?
SJ: I was considering different opportunities, but when the chance to work at Renown came up, I could tell the organization really could make a difference in the lives of the people it was serving. Renown is the region's strongest hospital with an integrated health system, a robust health plan and a large medical group. Therefore, I knew Renown was organized enough to take care of people across the continuum and had the capability, assets, and infrastructure to deliver. That positioning was fairly unique, so I wanted to join the team and start driving the community's health.

HCB News: What do you believe attracts others to work at Renown?
SJ: Everyone loves being part of a winning team and Renown is a winning team. We have a strong organization with a rich history, and I think people in this region recognize that Renown is a healthcare leader. We're the place to be for those who aspire to have the highest level career and develop themselves to their greatest potential.

I think it’s also helpful that we’re in a desirable community. I live within 45 minutes of Lake Tahoe, and so do most people in this area, so there’s a lot of things to do outdoors. It’s also easy to get to the Bay Area and wine country.

HCB News: How would you describe the leadership style of the organization?
SJ: The Renown leadership is committed to the health of our community. The way we approach that health is to take a wide-open perspective. We’re interested in innovation and doing things differently than how they may have been done in the past. We’re interested in creative solutions. The organization is not as interested in just following the traditions of the industry and hoping things become different; we’re invested in driving change.

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