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2010 40 Under 40: Tyler Hedden

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Tyler Hedden says keeping an open mind has helped him become a successful health care administrator.

“To be a good leader in a complex business involves being open to differing ideas and opinions while keeping the big picture in mind,” Hedden says. “It’s also important to be willing to get out to where the clinical work is done and see opportunities, concerns and solutions firsthand.”

Hedden started work with CoxHealth in 1997 as a nurse assistant. A decade later, having used his knack for strategic planning and organization to help grow five other health-care systems, including Barnes Jewish Christian Health Care in St. Louis and Henry Ford Health Care in Detroit, he is back at CoxHealth – this time as vice president of clinical services.

In this role, he serves as the administrator for several CoxHealth departments, including emergency services, urgent care, cancer services trauma, the stroke center and the sleep lab, and he was instrumental in opening a new center for pain management and doubling its patient volumes.

Hedden says he’s learned that encouraging open communication helps keep his staff members happy.

“Showing an ability to have an open, honest dialogue with all staff lets them know we are on the same team and can reach solutions together based on our common goals,” Hedden says. “I have (created) a work environment that emphasizes trust through relationship-building, removes barriers through improved communication, and empowers staff to make decisions that affect their specific areas.”

He put his open communication policy to work when a staff member was critically injured on the job a few years ago.

“They knew they were getting the most up-to-date and accurate information about their friend’s status and medical treatment. By knowing the facts, employees were able to process their profound emotions and focus on their friend,” Hedden says. “There is nothing more gratifying than being told, ‘You helped me during a difficult time, and I could always trust what you were telling us was accurate.’”

Mentoring is another method Hedden uses to help others, volunteering regularly with both of his alma maters.  

He also is a member of Leadership Springfield Class XXV and served as chairman of the 2010 American Heart Association’s Springfield HeartWalk.

“The local leadership is great to work with because of their dedication to … educating the public in the prevention of heart disease and the focus on raising money (for) further research,” he says.[[In-content Ad]]


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