2021 Excellence in Healthcare Honoree: Judy Frum
Meet Judy Frum, Chief Operating Officer at Memorial Regional Hospital for Memorial Healthcare System
Judy Frum, RRT, BSN, MBA, is Chief Operating Officer for Memorial Regional Hospital, the flagship hospital of Memorial Healthcare System, one of the largest public healthcare systems in the country. Judy is a dynamic healthcare leader and a strategic thinker with a natural ability to connect with people, quickly access situations and execute with confidence.
She has dedicated her career to serving others, taking leadership roles that have positively affected the safety and delivery of patient care. She is known to creatively bring fresh ideas, concepts and methods to the clinical setting that have resulted in the growth and operational turnaround of many hospital programs while also enhancing the patient experience within these programs. She has served as the lead on numerous development and expansion projects with multimillion-dollar budgets, which have expanded patient access and clinical services for the South Florida community. Judy holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master’s in Business Administration and has been recognized for being an outstanding businesswoman and a humanitarian. In 2017, she received a special congressional recognition for her exemplary work and leadership.
Favorite Quote: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
Fun Fact: Passionate about health and fitness. I wake up every day at 4 AM to start my day in the gym.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? Throughout my career, I have faced many challenges. The growth potential for me as a leader was learning the following: First and foremost, take a deep breath. There is a solution to every challenge. Stay positive and proactive, which leads to creative problem-solving. See the challenge from all sides. Choose one solution to try first. Don’t be afraid to fail. Some of the best opportunities come from initial setbacks.
What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? The most monumental and defining moment in my career occurred in 2017 after Hurricane Irma impacted South Florida. I participated in the rescue effort of 125 residents from a local nursing home. The facility had lost air conditioning and the residents of the facility were negatively impacted due to extreme heat in the building. The entire Memorial Healthcare System, along with other community partners, extended the reach beyond the walls of our hospitals to help rescue and provided safety to the residents of the facility. It taught me that we are all empowered to make a difference. The events of that day taught us that partnerships save lives. Fast forward to 2020 and the pandemic. The lessons learned in 2017 were the foundation for our “Long Term Care Strategy” during the pandemic. Memorial’s partnership and collaboration with our community long-term care facilities is saving lives. I will be forever impacted by the event in 2017, but I feel so proud of using that event and the lessons learned as an opportunity to make an impactful difference today.
How is the healthcare industry important to you personally? Having the opportunity to positively impact the lives of our patients and families during their most vulnerable time is a monumental responsibility. It’s a role that drives my passion. I considered it the ultimate privilege to care for others.
How did the pandemic disrupt your specific role in the healthcare industry, and how did you adapt? The pandemic has tested all of us in healthcare. As a leader in this environment, the priority was creating an environment where decisions are made calmly and based on fact. The challenge was executing plans to protect our workforce yet provide the needed care to our community while the environment changed daily. As the Chief Operating Officer, my goal was to remove barriers for our leadership team to ensure we instituted a plan of action to address the ever-changing ebb and flow of the pandemic. The awesome responsibility was a daily challenge. Going forward, our new reality will look very different.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Be kind, always!