Andy Guz, the CEO of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, has spent the majority of his career in the hospital industry—empowering the work culture and getting out into the communities he serves. Guz has been the Chief Executive officer of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center since 2016. He was previously the CEO of a hospital in Pennsylvania, and has worked in executive roles at hospitals throughout the United States. Guz is a board member for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee County, the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, and the Sloan Alumni Association Board of Directors at Cornell University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Sarasota, active in the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and Manatee Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Marshall University and a Masters of Health Administration from Cornell University. Guz lives in Lakewood Ranch with his wife Tami, and daughters Ava and Lana.

SRQ: What are some of the key highlights of your work as the CEO of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center?

Andy Guz: I oversee the strategy and operations for the hospital, our outpatient physician clinics (Lakewood Ranch Medical Group), and the freestanding Emergency Department (ER at Fruitville). The best way I describe my job is putting the right resources in the right places in order to meet the needs of our patients. This includes the people, equipment, facilities and strategy of the entire organization.

Do you have a vision you would like to share?

LWRMC will continue to be the leader for healthcare in Lakewood Ranch and beyond. Our challenge, like most organizations in Lakewood Ranch, is to continue expanding along with the community, and we have some exciting things planned for the near future. I moved here in 2016 and, since then, there are so many more people who live and work in the community. We will continue to add more services and specialties to meet the needs of our community.

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of the work you do? And what are some of the biggest challenges?

I believe there are three things that a healthcare organization must focus on in order to gain the trust of patients and their physicians: safety, quality and kindness. We must always prevent harm to patients, practice the highest quality of medicine and treat everyone well. LWRMC has been one of the most awarded and accredited hospitals in this area, including being named “Top General Hospital” by Leapfrog Group and one of Newsweek’s “Best Maternity Hospitals,” and it is because we do those three things well. I am proud to work with people who share that vision and practice it every day. I also enjoy hearing from community members whenever they’ve had a great experience with one of our physicians or interactions with the hospital. One of our biggest challenges is maintaining that level of culture as we continue to grow. Every new person that is brought into the organization has their own personality and experiences, and we want to hire the best of the best. Hiring the right people is just as, if not more, important than the policies and procedures of an organization.

What do you enjoy about working in Lakewood Ranch?

The sense of community. I like to say that “no one is originally from Lakewood Ranch,” which means that we all chose to live here. I think that brings a certain level of pride within the community. It also means that everyone moving here has to find a new healthcare home, which is what we strive to be.

What do you like to do during your non-work time?

I volunteer on several not-for-profit boards and community civic groups. I enjoy those because it brings people from various backgrounds and industries to provide resources to local residents who face financial challenges. While there are many well-off people in Lakewood Ranch, there are certainly many who need some assistance. Organizations like the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund and Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, among others, help fill those gaps. My wife, Tami, is a professional violist and plays with the local symphony orchestras. We have two daughters, Ava and Lana, who are active in competitive softball and soccer, so most of my time after work and on weekends is spent at the fields or at tournaments.