Sinacore-Jaberg moves on

By Vicki Hyatt | Jul 29, 2014

Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, who has been at the helm of MedWest-Haywood since December 2012, will leave the community to continue working with Carolinas HealthCare System.

The 27-year hospital executive had two job offers to consider — staying on at Haywood with Duke LifePoint, the new hospital owners or remaining with Carolinas HealthCare, which had a 10-year management contract with MedWest. She chose the latter.

Her new position will be Carolinas HealthCare System’s vice president, operations for regional facilities, to support creating a stronger network of Carolinas HealthCare System’s regional affiliated hospitals and other regional care locations.

“This is about family,” Sinacore-Jaberg said of her decision to relocate to Charlotte where Carolinas HealthCare is headquartered.

Her mother passed away this spring, which left her father alone in Charleston to combat health problems of his own. The five-hour drive from Haywood will be cut considerably when she’s working in Charlotte, and she will be doing some of her work right in Charleston.

Since her time in Haywood, Sinacore-Jaberg has immersed herself in the community, serving on the Haywood Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the new economic development effort in the county. She has organized numerous community meetings across the county to talk about hospital issues, find out what Haywood residents thought about their hospital and strived learn what the hospital could do better to serve local needs.

A new practice started at MedWest-Haywood under Sinacore-Jaberg's tenure in which every member of the executive team did "rounding," where they visited with patients about their experience at the hospital.

The practice that was initiated, she said at the time, helped everyone focus on the hospital's purpose and mission — patient care. She also initiated the 15-minute morning meeting where administrators didn't sit down, but stood and shared with others what was happening in their department that day.

Sinacore-Jaberg said she will long remember her time in Haywood for many reasons, including the beauty of Haywood County.

“Mostly it will be the people and the passion for the community that I feel from everyone here,” she said. “I felt so welcome.”

She will also remember the successes from her time in the community.

“The success wasn’t just me, it was the team,” she said. “I do believe the organization is in a more stable position than it was when I got here. We reached out to the community and built some bridges. It is not perfect yet and there are still a lot of bridges to build, but we have turned a lot of corners.”

The fire at the hospital on June 19 that disabled the electric system and prompted a building evacuation, is one Sinacore-Jaberg said she'll never forget.

"The teamwork that was shown during our crisis is something few CEOs ever see," she said. "There was the support not only from Carolinas and Duke LifePoint and WestCare, but from the entire community, whether it was the sheriff, the county commissioners and others who helped. It was their hospital, they wanted to protect it and they did whatever they had to to protect it. It showed a true passion for our hospital."

Sinacore-Jaberg has been working closely with Duke LifePoint for a planned ownership change on Aug. 1, and said the company will do a wonderful job, but predicted that ultimately the hospital will succeed because of the dedicated staff who work there.

“The hospital is bricks and mortar,” she explained. “What makes this an exceptional hospital are the people and the caregivers in the building. Every organization is unique, but this organization had some challenges I think few have to deal with. But they did it, and they did it proudly and they still stand proud.”

An interim CEO will oversee hospital operations, Sinacore-Jaberg said, and she will be staying on for a couple weeks or so to oversee the transition.

"All of this has been memorable," Sinacore-Jaberg said of her Haywood experiences. "It is something I will never forget. I’m excited about the opportunity to continue my career with Carolinas. I want people to know what a great team and medical staff is here and I want them to know this organization and all the people in it love Haywood County, and they are doing everything they can to exceed the expectations. It may not happen on day one or day two or even day 365, but it will happen."

Sinacore-Jaberg sent a memo to the medical community Tuesday morning announcing her decision and inviting them to two separate forums set up to introduce the leadership at Duke LifePoint and answer questions from staff.

"I feel very good about the upcoming transition and know that I will be leaving you in good hands," she wrote.