Get to know our UISS Board Chair – An interview with Eric Campbell, Executive Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer, Oswego Health

Tell us about yourself/your background.
I am originally from Oswego. And I’m back working at Oswego, which certainly is wonderful. My wife, Angela, is a school teacher with the Oswego City School District. I have two children, Nick, who’s 14 and Gianna, who is 10. We spend a good amount of time together as a family and following the kid’s activities. We also spend time with Angela’s and my parents who all live locally. I’m a CPA by training. I worked public accounting for eight years in Syracuse working with Fust Charles Chambers. Started at Oswego in 2010, primarily working on financial reporting and revenue cycle and took the role as the CFO for the health system in 2017. I play golf and run a little bit as well. I love outdoor activities overall, like hiking, biking, just overall just loving the outdoors. I think it’s good to get away and be outside.

Why did you decide to become a board member of UISS?
I think UISS and Iroquois Healthcare Association are important organizations to healthcare in Upstate New York. Being involved in something that’s related to what I do is very important. I also believe doing things that you’re not necessarily comfortable with are good ways to grow professionally. I’m not naturally somebody who wants to control the boardroom, if you will. But I believe taking on the role of the chair was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow my skill set.

What about our mission excites you?
When Donna started working with us, it was clear that the status quo was going to be changed. I think the new ideas, the fresh ideas, not just the same old, same old on supply chain, which we know is always kind of the baseline of board stuff, but new ideas. I think persistence to all the different opportunities to generate cost savings, that energy that Donna brings, is a nice win for UISS. To have that energy and that focus and that vision of total cost management for the member is a really, really great vision. And I think it fits well with the mission of UISS as well as Iroquois Healthcare and its members. So I think it just works really nicely.

What role would you hope to play on the board?
I will go back to when this current board was put together for the first time. We were in our first board meeting when we discussed the need to approve the budget in our next board meeting. In order to approve the budget, I believed we needed a better understanding of the vision and strategic goals of the organization. This led to the board having a series of strategy sessions throughout this past year. In order to define, What are we trying to accomplish at a higher level versus the budget and our operational goals for the year The Board along with the UISS leadership team developed the following strategic focus areas: Total Cost Management, Growth, Service Delivery, Value & Revenue and Enabling Tools & technology. The leadership team at UISS will focus on the operational goals underlying those strategies. These strategic focus areas melded well with what the team was already doing. The team was already very focused on the vision of total cost management. Putting the strategic focus areas on paper and making sure that we concentrate on those is important. We as a board or leadership team do not want to lose sight of those items.

What have you learned so far in your role as board chair?
I’ve certainly learned to trust the experts. I know I don’t know everything. So, having the experts like John Strong, Maxine Briggs, Dewey Rolands, and Gary Fitzgerald on the board to hear their input is so important. And then obviously the experts like Donna and Francine, they’re in the detail day to day. They know the struggles of the members and how they can help them.

What do you see going forward for UISS and its members?
I think continued focus on total cost management. Not just supply chain, but purchase services and other contracted services and continued efforts along that same path that is the goal of the organization for its customers. Donna put those words total cost management on a page. Any member can agree with those words, UISS helps support their mission by impacting the expenses that continue to increase every day.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I think the position of UISS is so unique. They are focused on total cost management for its members, but at the same time when the organization does well financially it supports IHA. So those dividends that UISS provides to IHA helps support the work that IHA does whether it’s on the programmatic side, the lobbying side, etc. And those dollars are really important for all the members. Not only does UISS impact those members that participate in the GPO, but it also helps every member through the dividends to help support the organization financially, so it’s serving multiple purposes.