Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health’s Leadership Featuring Simon Townsend

This blog post is part of a series titled Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health's Leadership. Different leaders throughout Eskenazi Health will be featured, giving an inside look at their work roles, backgrounds, passions and even hobbies. We hope you enjoy learning about some of the exceptional leaders Eskenazi Health is proud to employ.

Simon Townsend joined Eskenazi Health in 1999, and his current role is manager of Eskenazi Health Center Primary Care – Adult Medicine & Pediatrics. The primary care center on the downtown campus is located on the second floor of the Sandra Eskenazi Outpatient Care Center and provides primary care, gynecology, obstetrics, mental health and addiction services, patient navigation, financial counseling, respiratory therapy and more.

Prior to joining Eskenazi Health, he and his sister were owner/operators of a successful health care agency, which served Marion and the surrounding counties. They continued to operate the business into the late 1990s when they decided to sell the business as the home health care market was becoming increasingly saturated. With the business sold, Townsend looked for an organization whose mission matched his own, and that is how he found Eskenazi Health.

When it comes to the culture of Eskenazi Health, he believes in “our philanthropic support, our senior leadership team, our providers, our staff, our innovation, our technology, our modern state-of-the-art facility, various departments, amenities…” For Townsend, the list can go on and on. To him, Eskenazi Health has everything he would ever want in a place to work and then some.

Now as a manager, one of Townsend’s most important tasks is checking in on his staff to make sure they are performing well within their roles and to provide guidance on their various projects. He enjoys being able to support his staff so they can find success in their roles. He believes it is vital to their ability to make key decisions, which ultimately influences the overall success of the operation.

As a leader, Townsend believes his greatest contribution to Eskenazi Health comes from his ability to improve teamwork. The teams under his supervision have worked to decrease the phone abandonment rate from more than 30 percent to fewer than 5 percent. Overall, this creates a better patient experience, which Townsend believes is one of the most important focuses of a health care system.

While he notes that this is one of his greatest achievements thus far, Townsend is especially proud of the work he’s doing with Coleman Associates. The project involves taking a dramatic approach to process improvement. Currently, they are working on improving access for patients, the no-show rate, the phone abandonment rate, patient cycle times, overall patient experience and patient education.

Outside of Eskenazi Health, Townsend stays heavily involved in the community as a member of the board of directors for the National Headquarters Church of the Living God, Inc., and as a member of the Indianapolis Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. He also enjoys traveling, running, playing chess and racquetball.

Townsend notes how he loves to talk and laugh with anyone he encounters, and that includes talking about how he is the tallest of his 13 siblings or the fact that he has four daughters.

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