DR. PHILLIPS As of March 15, Thibaut van Marcke will be the new president of Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, understandably not officially assuming his position until April 20.
After all, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital takes at least a month to learn how to run, given its intricacies as part community hospital and part hospital for a gigantic tourism hub.
But since he was born in Brussels, van Marcke has been accustomed to relocating relatively often.
“We moved to the States when I was 9,” he said. “When I was a kid, my dad worked in Manhattan, so we lived in the suburbs of New Jersey.”
Van Marcke joins Orlando Health after a stint as vice president and chief operating officer for HCA - North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, a 432-bed tertiary care hospital. Thus, he has overseen the entirety of a hospital's operations, from surgical and cardiovascular services to ancillary and support departments.
“We are extremely pleased that Thibaut is joining the organization,” said David Strong, Orlando Health president and CEO. “His leadership experience and expertise in hospital operations will be instrumental in ensuring that Dr. P. Phillips Hospital continues to provide extraordinary care to residents of Southwest Orange County and to Central Florida’s growing tourist population.”
Van Marcke also has been Medical Center of Trinity COO in New Port Richey and associate administrator at The Medical Center of Aurora, Colorado. He has worked with the American Heart Association and served on the Suncoast YMCA Advisory Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s of health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
“As a kid, I always had an inclination toward health care,” van Marcke said. “I was an athlete and would always be in the training room, so I was always around trainers and physical therapists and really thought I wanted to be a physical therapist when I was a teen.”
He did work at a hospital in his area before getting a liberal arts degree at Richmond and getting a job in medical sales. Around that time, his sister was finishing the master's degree he would attain by following in her footsteps three years after undergrad.
“It's just really a diverse occupation with the ability to learn a lot of different types of things, which I thought was a really good fit for me,” van Marcke said. “In a lot of ways, I … stumbled into it but really ended up being a great fit.”
When he and his wife first married, they started in Colorado and enjoyed the outdoors there before an internal promotion in the Tampa area arose years later when they had two children, he said.
“Since then, I've really enjoyed what Florida has to offer ... being able to be outdoors mostly year-round,” van Marcke said. “But I think more importantly, just in the various communities we've lived in, we've met some really great people and have really enjoyed raising our kids here.”
The chance to join Orlando Health and the Dr. Phillips community went hand-in-hand with that thinking, he said. A recruiter told him the position and area would be a great fit for him, so van Marcke met the leadership team and felt comfortable from the start with all levels of staff he encountered.
“Health care is such a dynamic and changing environment, and I was really impressed with the work that Orlando Health and Dr. Phillips have done in the community … in Dr. Phillips for about 30 years,” he said. “Just a really strong commitment to the community and being a pillar in the community, which I think it's really important for hospitals to be.”
The growth of Southwest Orange County is an opportunity for Dr. P. Phillips Hospital to enhance a tremendous community reputation even further and spread that reputation to newcomers both in terms of transplants and tourists, van Marcke said. One key will be to make the hospital's care more accessible to patients, whether that means enhancing access to the hospital or access to health care away from the hospital, he said.
“I think those are things that I'd love to say are easy solutions,” he said. “I don't know that there usually is. It is important for us to look at particularly ... how do you make parking as available as possible for those folks who need it.”
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].