Columbus CEO recognizes its 25th year as your trusted business resource
Business leader profiles, perhaps the best source of wisdom Columbus CEO has to offer, remain a staple that began with the first cover story featuring ambitious Erie Chapman, head of U.S. Health and Riverside Methodist Hospital, then operating as the third largest health system in the nation. It's since zoomed in to focus on the state as OhioHealth.
The story begins with a description of Chapman's office, a room at the end of a hall of black-and-white photos, outfitted with a color television, stacks of VHS tapes and a hanging Mickey Mouse watch. Chapman's background is unexpected in more ways than one. Preparation for his role did not come from previous healthcare experience; rather, he began as a lawyer. It was only through the prodding of friend Bruce Trumm, CEO of a Toledo hospital, to accept a VP job, that Chapman found his forte. "I thought, now this is service. Here is a place to serve," Chapman said in '92. Two years in, he became CEO. After six years more, Chapman hopped from Toledo to Columbus to secure the same title at Riverside by convincing the board of directors his legal background would be a benefit.
Especially enthusiastic about humanizing patients, Chapman traded registration clerks for nurses in a waiting room that also received softer touches such as carpeting and lower lighting. He even spearheaded development of a more dignified hospital gown. Another Chapman operation included an inventive way to advertise called "Riverside Minutes" that aired various specialists talking healthcare issues on TV with a Chapman voiceover. The success of this approach was the catalyst for "Life Choices with Erie Chapman," an internationally syndicated television show for which Chapman wrote his own theme song.
Relocated to Nashville in 1998, his repertoire includes award-winning photographer, composer, author and poet with the nom de plume Dane Dakota, reverend and producer; but healthcare has woven an inextricable thread through his career. The last sentence of CEO's first profile on Chapman is advice from him that he has more than followed, "find your passion and live it. The most successful people I know are people who do simply that: They find their passion and they live it every day."