Barbara Rossmann Follows Her Dream

Henry Ford Macomb hospital’s president/CEO enjoys helping others.

By Nick Lico

Serving others comes naturally to Barbara Rossmann, President and CEO of Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals (HFMH).

“I believe I was truly called to health care. as a child, I loved helping people. I wanted to help them heal, feel better, have a better quality of life. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” Rossmann said. Her duties as a youngster included babysitting and being a lifeguard.

Rossmann got her start in the health field as a nurse in San antonio, Texas, before enrolling in the army, where she served six years in various duties, including head nurse and nurse supervisor.

The army captain left the military in 1973 to start a family and has been in the public sector ever since. In addition to her Bachelor in Nursing, Rossmann holds a master of Science in Nursing and has initiated doctoral studies.

In her current role, Rossmann oversees one of macomb’s leading employers and health providers, with approximately 3,500 employees, 1,000 medical staff members and an extensive regional ambulatory network that includes six health centers. The hospital on 19 mile Road in Clinton Township is the second-largest operat- ing unit of Henry Ford Health Systems.

She serves as a board member for a number of local organizations, including the Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce and the macomb Health plan. She is vice chair of the Southeast michigan Regional Red Cross board and a member of the michigan Hospital association’s Legislative policy panel.

It’s an understatement that she has her finger on the pulse of the county’s health trends and needs; her position enables the hospital to provide programs to address those needs.

“We’re seeing more obesity in our county, with corresponding increases in congestive heart failure, Copd (chronic obstructive  pulmonary disease) and chronic diabetes. as a result, our health offerings focus on these areas,” she said. Also increasing in macomb County is drug abuse. In response, HFmH has participated in the developed operation Rx, a program designed by Judge Linda davis to educate the community on the pitfalls of drug abuse. This program works with physicians to change the way they order opioids and provides support for those with drug needs.

These community programs and many others are funded in part by surgical procedures.

“For hospitals, surgeries are one of the most profitable services we provide,” Rossmann explained. “It’s important that we grow with those services that are profitable and that we take those prof- its and reinvest them in the services we provide, reinvest in our buildings and by giving back to the community.” Last year alone, HFmH contributed nearly $28 million in community benefit programs and services to residents of macomb County and surrounding communities.

Rossmann has accomplished a great deal during her tenure. The hospital is nationally recognized in several clinical areas for qual- ity and safety. It was also recognized as a 2011 malcolm Baldridge National Quality awards recipient for performance excellence. When asked what she hopes will be her legacy, she quickly replies:

“my vision is to be the safest regional hospital nationally, to be recognized as an integral part of the fabric of the communities we serve and that we will heal our patients and treat them and their families with respect and dignity. I want to one day leave, knowing this was a great place to work for our staff, our volunteers and our physicians that we were instrumental in assisting people with taking a lead in their health care.”

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