Coming from a family of hospital administrators, John Sackett continued the legacy when he began his new job as president of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville this spring.
The 56-year-old Southern California native most recently was president and CEO of Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, Colo., positions he held for 24 years.
At Shady Grove, Sackett said, he has been working closely with physicians and hospital leaders to provide quality care and hopes to turn the 331-bed acute care facility into a world-class institution.
“Our journey is the process of going from good to great. That’s what I hope to accomplish,” he said. “Fulfilling our mission in world-class fashion — if we do that we will reflect the nature of our community.”
An unexpected phone call in early 2013 from friend and colleague Terry Forde, executive vice president and COO for parent Adventist HealthCare, alerted Sackett to the job opening.
“He said, ‘I know you’re happy in Colorado, but I think there is a perfect match between the hospital and your skill set,’” Sackett recalled from his conversation with Forde.
A visit to Rockville and talks with hospital employees led Sackett to seriously consider the position. He also was drawn to the job for a more personal reason: his battle with cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease involving mucus buildup in the lungs.
“Denver is a mile high, so my lungs were telling me I would eventually need to move to lower elevation,” he said.
One his decision was made, he relocated with his wife to Olney shortly before starting the job.
Sackett received a bachelor’s in business administration from Walla Walla University in Washington in 1980, and a master’s in health administration from Loma Linda (Calif.) University in 1982. Both are Seventh-day Adventist schools. He also is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
While Sackett said health care is in a major state of flux, he is optimistic about the future of the industry.
“There’s a huge opportunity to use administrative skills to reorganize and help people understand that the future will be better than the past,” he said. “I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing in my life.