Volunteer Spotlight - Michael Sitowitz, Controller Parrish Medical Center

Volunteer Spotlight

 

By: Craig Fainstein

Area Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

HFMA Florida Chapter Committee Member

 

Name

Michael Sitowitz

Title

Controller

Organization

Parrish Medical Center

Position within HFMA

Chair – Audit, Accounting, and Financial Planning Forum

 

Questions:

What is your current volunteer role within HFMA?

I chair the Audit, Accounting, and Financial Planning Forum.

 

Where did you grow up, and where do you currently live?

I grew up in the Bronx, New York. I lived in New York until 1999, and then I moved to Florida. I currently live in Mims, FL.

 

Where did you attend college, and what was your area of study?

I went to the State University of New York at Binghamton and received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. I then received a Master of Business Administration, in Healthcare Administration, from the University of Phoenix.

 

What did you like most about these areas of study?

Working with numbers. They always tell a story. That’s what caught my interest in accounting.

 

Tell us about your path to Healthcare Finance, and what you enjoy most about it.

My path to healthcare finance started with moving to Florida and starting over. I was in public accounting for the first 14 years, but I always knew I wanted to be a controller, and got a job as a controller at a not-for-profit system. What I like most about it is it’s kind of like a puzzle: you are given all the pieces and you have to make them fit and tell a story.

 

How did you become involved with HFMA?

I first started attending HFMA back in 2000, and I attended the “Healthcare 101” education session. That was my introduction to healthcare, and I have stayed on as a member ever since. Most recently, 2 years ago, I felt there was a need to bring more accounting, auditing and financial planning to the conferences, so I was brought on as one of the founding chairs of the Audit, Accounting, and Financial Planning Forum.

 

What do you most enjoy about, and how have you benefited professionally from HFMA?

What I most enjoy about HFMA is the networking ability I have with other members that are like-minded. I’ve benefited by being able to reach out to those professionals, to pick their brains and share ideas. I’ve also benefited by getting my Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) certification.

 

What are the greatest strengths of the organization you work for, Parrish Medical Center?

One of our greatest strengths is that we are very progressive and we always stay ahead of the curve. I will also say that our greatest strength is that we have exceptional quality and safety for the patients and community that we care for.  Parrish Medical Center is the nation’s first to be awarded the Integrated Care Certification by The Joint Commission and we have been awarded straight-A’s in the Hospital Safety Rating from The Leapfrog Group; we are very proud of these accomplishments.

 

What are some of the challenges that you have had to navigate in your leadership role, and how has healthcare reform shaped or affected operations and finance at your organization?

The biggest challenge that I have in my leadership role is being able to keep up with the myriad changes that are happening in healthcare, and being sure that, from a regulatory perspective, we are in compliance.

 

How do you envision the healthcare industry will look in ten years?

I think in ten years healthcare is going to look very different. We are going to see more healthcare being delivered in the outpatient setting. Most inpatient settings will become expanded ICUs. I can’t see health systems building new hospitals and new beds when services are consistently changing to the outpatient setting.