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Paul J. Hensler, MSHA, FACHE

An accomplished healthcare executive with three decades experience leading hospitals to improved fiscal and clinical health, Paul J. Hensler, MSHA, FACHE, is chief executive officer of Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif.

After joining the 222-bed teaching hospital as CEO in 2007, he reduced an expected $33M loss into a $5M loss the first fiscal year, and turned it into a $10M profit the second. He also reduced staffing by 306 FTEs with no reduction in service and transformed Kern from CMS Immediate Jeopardy status to a successful CMS Validation survey and full three-year Joint Commission accreditation. Today he is spearheading Kern’s EHR initiative as the county-owned medical center moves toward achieving meaningful use of health IT and further reducing costs while continuing to improve clinical outcomes.

Earlier, as chief executive officer for the San Diego region of Prime Healthcare Management—an eight-hospital investor-owned healthcare system based in Victorville, Calif.—Hensler completed the acquisition of Paradise Valley Hospital. He also spent seven years at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center where, as administrator of UCSD’s 120-bed Thornton Hospital, he led an immediate financial turnaround as well as significant improvement in Press-Ganey patient satisfaction and Joint Commission survey scores. As associate director at UCSD Medical Center, he also achieved significant cost reductions and revenue enhancements, especially in the area of implants and transplants.

As CEO of Sutter Lakeside Hospital, a Sutter Health facility, Hensler achieved a number of significant milestones, including turning a projected loss of $2M to a gain of $3M, the first profitable year in the 69-bed Lakeport, Calif., hospital's 50-year history. As president and CEO of Holy Cross Medical Center, a 311-bed Los Angeles community hospital, he restructured an unprofitable physician joint venture surgery center to achieve 12 percent profitability within a year. Early in his career, he was CEO of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and held a series of executive administrative roles at the 450-bed, multi-facility O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif.

A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Hensler earned a master of science degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Tex., and a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Pittsburgh, and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. He holds several board appointments and plays an active role in his community. A registered Business Wire ExpertSource, he is available to discuss issues related to the use of health IT to reduce healthcare costs and improve healthcare safety and quality.