Open Accessibility Menu

Bridging the Gap Between Physicians and Hospitals

Bridging the Gap Between Physicians and Hospitals

Andy Shanks Director of Professional Outreach Northwest Healthcare – TucsonWhen business development was added to his previous role as patient navigator, Andy Shanks found his calling. Opportunity knocked, and the decision to become a physician liaison was not only exciting but an easy one to make. His passion for bridging gaps and his ability to build relationships has made him an Up-and-Coming physician liaison:

Up-and-Comers: New to the profession, the physician liaison has already demonstrated standout skills and received excellent reviews from CEOs, service line directors and physicians. Working with providers and their office staff, the liaison is always prepared to deliver value, problem-solve and communicate effectively. They utilize feedback to continuously improve.

What part of your job as a liaison do you love the most?

Breaking down the barriers and celebrating the wins with my team – and that includes the Directors of Professional Outreach and CEOs. When we celebrate as a team, the momentum and drive is so powerful. But we also dissect our defeats: why was it a loss, what can we do better?

What is the least favorite part of your job?

Operational issues that I cannot get involved in but I desperately feel need to be fixed for growth to happen.

What is your most memorable accomplishment?

While making site visits throughout the community, I discovered a shared issue among my providers—they had no GYN surgeon to refer to. I was able to sign on a new GYN surgeon to our ambulatory surgery center. For me, it was a small accomplishment. I was just doing my job—making connections. For the hospital, however, it was a major breakthrough.

What are the essential skills or qualities that help you succeed as a liaison?

Being able to easily build great relationships with my offices has contributed greatly to my success; however, it’s truly a team effort.

As the role of liaison has evolved – what has changed the most?

In my previous business development role, I felt extremely solo. Now, I feel like I am part of a team of people who mutually supports one another. Having a team – from all facets of the hospital – has made a huge impact in what I’ve been able to accomplish.

What future steps in your career path looks most appealing to you?

Consulting. I want to help beginning or struggling liaisons to do what I love and share what I have learned. I never would have considered it before; however, I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t had the training and coaching that I did. I want to be able give that to someone else.

What advice do you have for your “younger self” and for your “future self?”

You have the confidence and drive, embrace every new event.

What favorite quote/famous person provides you with motivation and confidence?

I have two: The first is the book “Eat That Frog.” It has made a huge impact in my time management, and has been my best resource outside of people.
The second is something my coach, Andrea Curless, told me when I first started, “Plan your work and work your plan.”

Whom do you consider to be a mentor?

There are many: Tammy Tiller-Hewitt, Andrea Curless, and my DPO/CEO team. I have learned and taken pieces of information from each of them.

If you could leave a legacy to your successor, your hospital or community: what would it be?

That I was able to bridge the gap between offices/physicians and the hospital.

In a nutshell – why did you become a liaison?

I love the interaction with people and building relationships with physicians and their staff. I also enjoy breaking down barriers and providing solutions. And, market share grows as a result.

In what ways has the Tiller-Hewitt program made a difference in your professional journey?

They gave me the tools and resources I needed to be successful.
The Liaison Legacy series celebrates the 15th anniversary of Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies by offering a forum for sharing best practices. Learn more about how we can help you leave a strong legacy within your profession, hospital and community.