Parkridge CEO: Successful hospital leaders channel chess players, NBA refs


Healthcare leaders who aspire to be the best they can be may want to turn to unexpected sources for inspiration: chess and the National Basketball Association.

That's the advice of Darrell Moore, CEO of Parkridge Health System in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who will retire from the organization in December after a 40-year career as a health executive. 

Darrell Moore, Parkridge CEO
Darrell Moore

"To be a good CEO, you need to be a good chess player so you can anticipate the next move of what's happening in the community," Moore told the Times Free Press. "You have to be a psychologist so you can say, 'How do you feel about this? Where are things going? Share with me your thoughts and ideas. And then you have to be an NBA referee so you can call a timeout or a foul and say, 'No, this is where you need to go.'"

During his tenure at Parkridge, which includes the 275-bed Parkridge Medical Center and the 128-bed Parkridge East Hospital, Moore has focused on improving the patient experience from the first impression and expanding care offerings across the system, according to the article. Under his watch, Parkridge has begun a renovation of its main hospital and expanded its pediatric, behavioral health and oncology offerings.

The system, which is owned by for-profit hospital chain HCA, has also expanded its outpatient care services--in line with a growing hospital trend--and navigated technological advances, like the rise of surgical robots, according to the article.

Moore said the key is to collaborate with and include staff at all levels in major decisions, according to the newspaper. This also applies to patient care, as he believes hospitals must be in touch with patients after discharge to ensure they’re following instructions carefully, and that they must work with primary care providers and specialists to ensure the best possible post-discharge outcomes.