Danielle Drummond’s Accomplishments Precede Her Term as Head of Lakeland Regional
by MARY TOOTHMAN
photo provided by LAKELAND REGIONAL HEALTH
Danielle Drummond won’t officially become head of Lakeland Regional Health until January 1 of 2021, but she will certainly be ready.
She has already been serving as vice-president and chief operating officer of the nonprofit Lakeland hospital; her pending promotion seems a natural move. “I am obviously thrilled to have this opportunity,” she said. “It’s a great place to work, really.”
Drummond joined Lakeland Regional Health in 2013. She was selected in 2018 as one of the nation’s “Top 25 COOs in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare.
Not only is she already familiar with the workplace, but she also will have the benefit of working in tandem with outgoing CEO Elaine Thompson until her retirement.
Thompson, who’s held the top position since 2010, informed the Board of Directors earlier this year of her retirement plans. “After careful consideration, I have come to the difficult decision that it is time for me to move forward onto the next phase of my journey to allow me to spend more time with my family and to explore new intellectual challenges,” she said in a letter.
“Due to the selfless commitment, strong character and exceptional leadership of the Board of Directors and my incredible team, the opportunity to serve in the role of President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health has provided to me the most professionally fulfilling and inspirational time of my life,” she said.
Laura Hawley, chair of the board, says that while the board is saddened by Thompson’s retirement, it is thrilled to work with Drummond.
During Thompson’s tenure, some $350 million was invested into key facility improvements — including the Hollis Cancer Center expansion, creation of the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine, Grasslands Ambulatory Campus and the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.
When asked whether the hospital would now need to pause such expenditures for a bit, Drummond says time will tell. “The recent completion of these projects allowed us to improve aging facilities, invest in much-needed services for our community and reduce operating expense by eliminating lease payments.
“While we will not have as many projects in the foreseeable future, we do continue to evaluate facility needs to ensure we provide the best possible environment of care for our patients.
“Our Behavioral Health services are currently in need of expanded and enhanced space, so we are exploring the potential for a project to improve our ability to provide the best possible patient care.”
“We are continuously working to provide the best patient care to our community, while ensuring we are providing that care in the most efficient manner possible,” Drummond says. “We also continue to work on growth strategies to further expand the service offerings at Lakeland Regional Health to allow more patients and their families to stay close to home for their health care needs. I feel we can continue to grow in a manner that will have a positive impact on our financial performance.”
And the future does not hold any specific plans to partner with other facilities. “We currently have affiliations with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and Nemours Children’s Health System,” she says. “These relationships allow us to bring the expertise of nationally recognized health care organizations to the greater Lakeland area.”
It’s clear that with Drummond at the helm, the hospital will be led by someone with an abiding desire to maintain its standards and continue to improve. “I am passionate about providing the highest quality health care services to our community,” Drummond says.
“I love this community, and I feel honored and grateful to be able to help the patients and families we are privileged to serve.”
During her tenure, Drummond led the design and construction process for the eight-story Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children. She also helped facilitate the Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group transition, oversaw expansion of the Hollis Cancer Center, and strategized for growth of the Physician Group and ambulatory practices.
Drummond is credited with facilitating significant clinical collaborations with Mayo Clinic and Nemours Children’s Health System for Lakeland Regional Health.
“I use my background in engineering to continuously improve the health care system. As a leader, my approach is to be accessible to the entire team and provide them whatever support they need to do their best work,” she says.
“I try to bring a sense of calm to stressful situations, and allow the team to focus on their respective priorities. As I transition into the CEO role, I look forward to spending more time listening to team members across the organization so I understand how I can best support them in their roles.”
The employees of Lakeland Regional are what make it work, she says. “Our people are our most important asset, and we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, dedicated team working alongside the exceptional physicians and advanced practitioners.”
“Both Ms. Drummond and Dr. Thompson are outstanding leaders to work with,” says Timothy J. Regan, MD, President, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center/Chief Medical Officer, Lakeland Regional Health. “Lakeland Regional Health has grown and advanced exponentially under their direction. I am excited to see what the next decade brings to our organization and community.”