It wasn’t technically a move back home, but to Jesse Mock, it sure seemed like it.
Mock, administrator of The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus, spent his early years on a farm in south central Nebraska. His wife, Rhonda, hails from a farm in Oklahoma.
“When people ask why we relocated from Southern California, I am quick to point out our backgrounds. I am probably one of the few hospital administrators who knows how to milk a cow by hand,” Mock said, laughing. “We had milk cows, beef cows, and raised corn and hay.
“We also traveled to my granddad’s ranch in Colorado and helped with that operation. We are excited to be here. We love the Midwest,” Mock added, noting he also formerly worked at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in the Kansas City metro.
To top it off, Mock worked for a few years as an oilfield roughneck.
“It really is like coming home,” he said. “We love being here and appreciate Midwestern values.”
It was the health system’s values that initially “jumped out at me,” Mock recalled about his early meetings with The University of Kansas Health System. “Its mission and vision attracted me from
Mock credits the leadership of Bob Page, chief executive officer, and Tammy Peterman, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer, for “the stellar reputation they have earned as leaders of a great health system. I am impressed with where they started and how much the system has grown.
“It is based on high-quality, patient-centered care and focuses on whole families,” he said. “This resonates with my leadership style and approach at a very deep level. The more I learned about the health system, the more I saw an awesome opportunity.”
Next, he met the Great Bend team of healthcare professionals and “saw the excitement building about the health system. I want to do my part to support this newly formed part of the health system in Great Bend and help it grow in the delivery of patient-centered care.”
Mock shared a personal experience to illustrate he understands the importance of providers being focused on the feelings of patients and families. He lost both parents to cancer.
“When you are on the other side of the bed, the other side of the table, it makes healthcare real for you,” he said. “We want to deliver personalized, humanized and demystifying experiences.
“Delivering healthcare is complex and a highly regulated environment. In spite of these challenges, we want to focus on patients and their families.”
As Mock has become acquainted with local officials, he has learned “the community is invested in having high-quality services here. It is great to know the community is excited about and engaged in this superior health system.
“And people have been so welcoming. So, it’s nice here on personal and professional levels.” Mock is impressed with the local staff, equipment, services and modern facilities, as well as the expertise in primary and surgical care.
“We will build on this as we compile plans for the future and study how we can best support providers and staff while offering great care,” he said. “We want to put together a plan that continues to improve services.”
This plan includes evaluating the need for advanced-practice providers and physicians. Current providers are being asked for their input, with a focus on the continuum of care.
“The University of Kansas Health System is bringing all its expertise and resources because we understand the importance of healthcare throughout the community,” Mock said. “We also realize that high-quality healthcare contributes to the economic development of the whole area.
“When our local leaders recruit businesses, they can say, ‘We have a great hospital and great doctors. And we are part of The University of Kansas Health System.’”
All these factors motivate Mock to “look forward to coming to work every day. I ask myself: ‘What can I do today to make the experiences of patients, families, providers and staff even better?’
Mock earned his bachelor’s in business management from the University of Phoenix and master’s in business, with an emphasis on executive leadership, from the University of Nebraska.
In addition to the hospital, Mock also leads St. Rose Medical Pavilion and the primary care physician team, formerly Central Kansas Family Practice.