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The Power of the Purse

Gerard Van Grinsven is the CEO and President of the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in the USA. In this video Gerard briefly describes his journey into the healthcare profession having had no prior experience and how he convinced his senior clinical leaders to build a new hospital that would take health and healing beyond the boundaries of imagination.

Gerard van Grinsven has a long history of working within the Luxury hotel industry with 25years service, opening 20 Ritz-Carlton hotels and working and living in over 10 countries across Asia , Europe and the US. Gerard is well known for his commitment to service excellence and creating positive environments for both his customers and employees.

With this experience behind him Gerard was approached by Henry Ford Health System to open a brand new hospital in Detroit. The hospital had $360million of investment and would be built on a 160 acre site of wetlands and woodlands.

In this video Gerard shares his experiences of opening up a new hospital, where he had no prior experience of working in healthcare.

Gerard touches on the hostile environment he found himself in, how he hand-picked clinical leaders to work with him and convinced them that they had an opportunity to challenge and change the healthcare industry by making the new hospital the “cirque du soleil” of healthcare.

Gerard draws on two books that helped him to get his vision across, Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim and The Power of the Purse by Fara Warner. The later led Gerard to research the hospitals potential customers where he found that women had 90% of the purchasing power learning that they were not satisfied with traditional medical care. Today at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield hospital they offer a large range of well-being services from yoga, support groups, meditation, health information events, on site greenhouse with cooking and nutrition classes, a demonstration kitchen, shops and food court, hair salon and a range of beauty and complimentary therapies.

Gerard created four key filters that all of the design stages and operational processes went through, these were:

  1. Safety and quality

  2. Compassionate care

  3. Positive memorable experiences

  4. Efficiency

Watch the video to find out more.

Gerard Van Grinsven is part of Wavelength’s speakers bureau. To view his full biography, find links to other videos and to book Gerard for a speaking engagement go to Wavelength Speakers Bureau Gerard Van Grinsven.


About: The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) was established in 1915 by Henry Ford. It is located in Detroit, Michigan. It is comprised of hospitals, medical centres and one of the largest group practices in the US. In 2012 HFHS employed more than 23,000 staff, had 3.2million outpatient visits, had more than 95,600 patients admitted and generated revenue of $4.46billion with a net income of $53.1million.

The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is an all private room hospital with around 200 beds. The hosiptal offers 24hour emergency care, neurosciences, women’s and children’s health, orthopaedics, diagnostic testing and a wellness center with complementary therapies. The hospital also has it’s own greenhouse where it grows organic produce for patients, staff and the community.

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