CEO Conversations: Russell Tyner, Baptist Health

Russell Tyner has led Baptist Health for 18 years, seeing the system of hospitals and clinics through ups and downs as well as a global pandemic during his tenure.

Here, Russell Tyner shares current challenges, points of pride and some lighter fare that gives a glimpse of the man behind the CEO title.

What’s the No. 1 challenge Baptist faced last year, and how did you and your team overcome it?

Surviving and thriving within an incredibly chaotic environment and within an unprecedented global pandemic.  Our clinicians and support professionals managed through multiple daily crises related to record patient volumes, persistent supply shortages and often far too few available colleagues. None of us had any prior experience or a real “book” to follow through the last couple of years. Situational success required dedication, perseverance and innovation. I could not be prouder of the performance of our team.

What’s trending in the hospital industry nationally right now?

Clinician and staff shortages and related unsustainable expenses. Also, grappling to establish a “normal” or predictable post-pandemic environment.

What’s trending in healthcare and hospitals in our area?

Exactly the same as what’s happening across the country.

What’s the one tech tool/device you can’t live without?

My cell phone. At Baptist, we never close, and we are almost never not available.

When recruiting and hiring team members, what’s the No. 1 quality you’re looking for?


What does leadership look like to you?

A displayed and predictable combination of individual knowledge and preparation, plus courage and humility.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Recruiting and retaining some of the most impressive leadership in the industry.

What makes you most proud or glad to live in Central Alabama?

The incredible people who live here.

What was your first job?

Landscaping for a hospital. I was 15 years old.

What’s your favorite quote?

I’ve got two, both from Peter Drucker: \”The hospital is the most complex human organization ever devised.\” And “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.”

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

“Dweller on the Threshold” by Van Morrison

What was the last book you read?

“How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton Christensen

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