Nick Lymberopoulos was selected as chief executive for Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in late March. He formerly served as chief operations officer for the hospital. Lymberopoulos brings 28 years of financial experience in the health care industry to the top role, and a deep relationship with the Tarzana location too — he started working at the hospital in 2003. With the job, succeeds Dale Surowitz and inherits a $644 million construction project, Tarzana Reimagined, and a partnership with Cedars-Sinai announced three years ago, not to mention a core Valley center on the mend after Los Angeles’s winter pandemic surge. He was five years into his tenure in Tarzana when the hospital switched from a for-profit owner, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., to nonprofit Providence Health & Services headquartered in Washington. Lymberopoulos grew up in the Valley, around the corner from Panorama City’s Kaiser Permanente hospital. His career started with an accounting position for Mesa General Hospital in Arizona, then more financial executive roles in Davenport, Iowa, before California called him back.Question: How involved were you in the Tarzana Reimagined project prior to becoming CEO? Answer: I was the operational leader on the project that entailed ensuring operations continued with minimal interruption from construction while ensuring the project stayed on budget and on time.Is everything on track?Yes, we’re making a lot of progress and on track to complete on time. We’re framing the new tower now that steel is complete and the foundations have been poured. The new lobby steel is complete and we are currently pouring the floors, and the seismic work to the existing buildings is concluding. The new lobby will be completed in spring/summer of 2022 and the new tower will be completed in October 2022, with licensing taking approximately three months. We anticipate the grand opening of the new tower in January 2023. The new tower will have a new 32-bed emergency department, state-of-the-art equipment, and private rooms throughout. We completed a second parking structure, consisting of 600 spaces, to ease our patients’ way when they come on our new reimagined and redesigned campus. Once the tower is complete in 2023, we will break ground on a new diagnostic and treatment center that will add five new surgical suites, including a hybrid room.What about financing?We have a capital fundraising campaign that is currently in process through the (Providence Tarzana Foundation), and the campaign will continue throughout the project. We recently received a transformational gift of $50 million from Don and Andrea Friese and family that we are grateful for.You were here when the partnership with Cedars-Sinai was announced?Yes, and it was a day that transformed Tarzana. Having a partner like Cedars-Sinai has really elevated us to a new height. The goal of the partnership is to keep care local, in the Valley, and turn Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center into a destination hospital.Cedars helped with financing the project, but what about services?We’re expanding tertiary services to our community as a result of the partnership. The first endeavor is developing the Heart Center of Excellence; we’re reviewing and developing other programs such as neurosciences, oncology, and women’s health. At the end of the day, our goal is to keep care in our community, and transform this into the pre-eminent hospital of the San Fernando Valley.
Does that mean you’ll make way for new services by discontinuing others?As opposed to discontinuing services, we’re looking at developing and expanding our services. We worked with Cedars-Sinai on identifying gaps in our specialist coverage and developing a roadmap to 2023 which would bring in new physicians to the community, such as thoracic surgery and oncology, to date.
Have demographics affected services at the hospital?Right now, we provide service to 51,000 patients annually in our emergency room. And with our new emergency room that will be complete in 2023 and more than doubles capacity, we are positioned to handle the projected increase in emergency care in the coming years.Any other service changes?We have seen a shift from inpatient to outpatient services. Technology advances have allowed us to move services that might have been performed in the hospital, to outpatient surgery centers. We are positioning ourselves to provide care for sicker patients in the hospital.How do you feel your leadership style and experience will shape your time as CEO?My experience as CFO, regional CFO, and most recently as a COO has positioned me well to handle the complexities of being a CEO. However, I feel my years of experience specifically at Tarzana (since 2003) and leading the hospital through a 4-year sale process, ownership change, transition from a for-profit organization to a non-profit faith-based organization, joint venture with Cedars Sinai, $644 million campus reimagine project, and most recently the pandemic has provided me the historical knowledge and relationships to be a successful leader.And your financial experience?My financial experience, I feel, positions me well to make decisions that impact the hospital as well as ensure that we are good stewards of our resources.Any last thoughts on the pandemic?I am thankful that it is in the past, I hope. It was a time when fear gripped everyone, but also a time when the hospital came together. The care that was provided to our community by our physicians and caregivers during the pandemic was amazing to see and I am so proud of each and every physician and caregiver.Any memorable experiences? I’ve seen the hospital go through so much over the years. One of my favorite experiences was the topping off ceremony last October. A topping off ceremony is a tradition that celebrates the last beam on a new structure. It was a great day and really hit home, what we are creating here in the San Fernando Valley, that will be providing care to the community for generations.Nick LymberopoulosBorn: Panorama CityEducation: Pepperdine MBA, St. Mary’s College of California BSMost Admired Person: John WoodenFavorite book/movie: The Shack / RudyResidence: Thousand OaksHobbies: Golf, tennis, hiking