CFO Spotlight - Nina Dusang

 

1.       Tell us a little about your background, where you were born, raised, education, family, hobbies, favorite sports team and pets?

I was born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area.  I attended college at Louisiana Tech University where I majored in Accounting.  After graduation I went back to New Orleans to work for KPMG as an auditor and CPA.  I was introduced to healthcare during my time as an auditor.  I cannot say I had a special calling to healthcare.  No one in my family had been a clinician, nor did I know anyone that was in the industry.  However, I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the business aspect of healthcare as it was ever-changing, which appealed to my need for a challenge.  I left public accounting to join the healthcare industry in the hospital setting and have never looked back.

My career has provided many opportunities.   Personally, I have had the chance to travel and live in a variety of areas in the Southeastern United States, experience different towns and their cultures.  Professionally, I was given the chance to be on the operations side of the business for 6 years, including serving as the Vice President of Operations for an acute-care Hospital.

I have been married for 23 years and have 2 girls, ages 13 and 8.  We are also home to a dog, two cats, a gecko and various other animals and insects at any given time. My girls keep me moving constantly, but when I do have time for myself, I enjoy exercising (yoga, CrossFit, roller skating…), reading fiction, and shooting sporting clays and handguns.

2.       Where is your favorite place to vacation and why?

My family and I love to go to South Louisiana to catch blue crabs (my favorite seafood of all time) as well as fish for trout, redfish and flounder.  My husband and I both grew up in South Louisiana where we spent many days on the bayous catching and eating seafood.  Being able to share these memories with our children has been a joy.

3.       What is your favorite thing about living in your current location?

The energy of the town (Roll Tide) and the variety of activities Tuscaloosa has to offer.

4.       What keeps you up at night in relation to current healthcare issues?

We are at a defining moment in the evolution of the business of healthcare.  The uncertainty of where the industry is going and where it will end up creates unique challenges every day.  The historical identity of the hospital is at question.  The hospital was previously tasked with the treatment and healing of patients who had an acute episode of illness.  Today that paradigm is shifting and the expectation is that the hospital will be the epicenter of the patient’s well-being.  The hospital’s role will be to provide an on-going presence in the patient’s life in the form of coaching, treatment, and wellness.  How we will be able to morph into this new role and still be able to be financially viable for our community is what “keeps me up at night”.  Our clinical model is being forced to change at an unprecedented pace, one at which our financial model is not keeping up with.  The disconnect in the evolution of these models creates challenges beyond those typical to our industry.  If we have any hope of navigating the rocky waters ahead, it is imperative to ensure finance is not siloed but serves as a partner with our clinicians.

5.       Tell us one thing we don’t know about you that you’re willing to share?

A friend and I owned and operated a tanning salon for over 6 years.

6.       What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone who is aspiring on becoming a CFO for a Healthcare provider facility?

You cannot just know the numbers!  What separates a great accountant from a CFO is the ability to effectively communicate information to a variety of audiences:  Board members, Executives, Staff, Physicians and the Community at large.   Someone asked me once what I actually did and after thinking about it my reply was that I spend my time being a communicator and advisor.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I could still make a journal entry if I had to but that ability is not what is integral to my job.