Legacy Award: Scott Glasrud
Watch Scott Glasrud's video from the 2023 Hall of Fame.
Speaker 1: I am pleased to announce the creation of an independent public authority to operate the hospital portion of the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Irene Thompson: When I became the CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital, I recruited Scott to be the Chief Financial Officer, and fortunately we had a relationship because he was overqualified for the role when it was a state agency. But he took the leap, took the risk, knew the problems and issues ahead, helped us help the legislature understand and approve the transition from a state agency to a public authority.
Jon Jackson: The governor signed it on the 17th of February, and we had 225 days, then, to create a completely new organization separate from the one that we were running. We had to get it completed by the end of 1998 or else the deal was null and void and we would've had to start over from scratch.
Bob Page: How do we focus on this institution that we have here to make sure it survives while all this legislative stuff is going on? And Scott was going to figure out how to take $23 million in seed money, 30 days operating cash, and how we were going to survive as a 500 bed hospital. Irene certainly didn't sugarcoat it.
Scott Glasrud: Even though it was a hundred-year institution, it was a completely new entity.
Tammy Peterman: I remember him saying very early on, "Cash is king. We have to pay attention to that." He also reminded us that you cannot shrink your way to greatness. There are a number of Scott quotes that come up from time to time in our health system. I think that says something about the legacy he's left.
Bill Marting: We weren't firing on all cylinders back then. We really weren't even firing on one cylinder. We were a dying organization. Scott was the right guy to be a part of the transition. He had a vision. He came from a strong healthcare background.
Scott Glasrud: I would say the number one accomplishment of the whole organization, not just finance, was changing the culture, and the culture of leading with quality and service. I was always supportive of that. That changed the whole market.
Tammy Peterman: Scott believed in our formula early on. Our formula has a keen focus on the patient from a quality perspective, a service perspective, making sure we had the right people. We knew if those things were in place, it would be a whole lot easier to grow strategically and to be financially stable.
Bob Page: I remember one of the things that Scott and I did was we taught a class. We did basic Healthcare Finance 101 for leaders in the hospital because we came out of a state system where the idea was if you have a dollar in your budget, you spend that dollar. You don't want to have any money left over at the end of the year, otherwise your budget gets cut. Now that system's gone and we say, "You know what? It's okay not to spend every dollar in your budget."
Scott Glasrud: One of my favorite memories was doing lunch and learns with Bob Page. The only downside was we talked all the time and didn't eat lunch, but I was surprised at how many people showed up to those events and wanted to learn finance.
Jon Jackson: Another thing that Scott started to do, we did town hall meetings with our employees. We had about 2,000 employees at that time. This, of course, was an unknown to our employees just like it was to some of us in the management and the executive office. So Scott played a role in not only educating during town halls, but educating our managers about how the structure of the organization was going to have to change.
Bill Marting: What Scott brought in was the ability to think ahead, sit down, what do we want to be in 10 years? What do we want to be in five years? And then what's it actually going to take to get there? That's the essence of a financial plan. It was Greek to us at the time, but he brought it in, put it in place.
Irene Thompson: Scott was delightful to work with. He was very serious, but he also has a great sense of humor. He would keep us on strategy, on budget, recognizing what the overall long-term goals were. So very important to keep him there with us, and everyone loved him.
Jon Jackson: He enabled us to use the limited capital that we had to create more capital and earnings so that we could continue to grow the organization and provide the care that we needed to provide to the citizens of the state of Kansas.
Tammy Peterman: There are so many things about Scott that I admire. I admire his knowledge and his wisdom. I admire his ability to stay focused, to really understand complex situations. I also respect his opinion. Everyone respects Scott's opinion because it's always a thoughtful opinion.
Bill Marting: Scott made a lasting impression. He was the person that we needed at the time because he had the vision to step in and really create financial systems out of nothing.
Bob Page: There's a slide that we use today that says, "Here's what we looked like in 1998." It's one dot at 39th and Rainbow. Look at where we are today. Scott helped build that foundation for us to be able to do that financially, and that's the reason that we're putting Scott in the Hall of Fame. So well deserved for Scott.
Scott Glasrud: I was shocked because I've been gone a long time, and when I look at the names that preceded me in this, it's a high bar. I'm glad, certainly, to receive this award, but I'm also receiving it on behalf of my team.