Gov. Ron DeSantis’ chief of staff, Shane Strum, has been hired as chief executive officer of one of the largest public health-care systems in the country. Strum edged out two other candidates for the top job at the North Broward Hospital District, which operates as Broward Health.
His first day in the job will be March 8. He will replace CEO Gino Santorio, who will leave the post Thursday to become chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. Strum will be paid $829,ooo annually and can earn a bonus of up to 30 percent of his salary, according to media reports.
The hospital district board interviewed three candidates in a near all-day meeting. During his interview, Strum played up his political connections in Tallahassee, noting that he served as chief of staff to DeSantis and former Gov. Charlie Crist. He also reminded the hospital-district commissioners — who are appointed by the governor — of his experience in the South Florida health care market.
Before joining the DeSantis administration after the 2018 election, Strum was senior vice president of the South Broward Hospital District, which operates as Memorial Healthcare System. He also previously served on the Memorial Healthcare System’s board.
“As a home-grown person here in Broward County I have lived here my whole life,” he said. “I think I would be able to hit the ground running immediately. I would have key contacts with decision makers. I understand local government, state government and the federal government.”
When asked about the two biggest regulatory and legal challenges facing the system, Strum said federal financing of health care and graduate medical education programs and the marketplace in the wake of “certificate of need” changes passed in recent years.
“As you know, certificate of need was done away with a few years ago so you are going to see more and more of the private hospitals that are taking a look at what available spaces are out there,” Strum said. “It might not be hospitals. It might be ambulatory surgical centers going to be where people are going now.”
Before interviewing Strum, the board interviewed Joseph Mullany, former president of Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and former CEO of St. Petersburg-based Bayfront Health, and Michael Hochberg a physician and CEO of Acclaim Physician Group in Fort Worth, Texas.