Since joining Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in July 2020, Stephen Castellano, MBA, has taken his role as chief practice operations officer head on, addressing key needs to better understand and support the communities that the Healthcare Centers and clinical practices serve. With the task of leading during a time of continued uncertainty, Mr. Castellano calls on his extensive experience to guide him. Below, Mr. Castellano shares details of journey to PCOM and the goals he has for the Healthcare Centers and clinical practices going forward.
I manage the Healthcare Centers and clinical practices on the Philadelphia campus and at our sites in North Philadelphia (Cambria), West Philadelphia (Lancaster Avenue) and Roxborough Hospital.
I have been an operations manager my entire career. After earning a business management degree from the University of Scranton, I came to Philadelphia to be close to my [then] fiancé while she attended medical school, internship and residency. I later earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at St. Joseph’s University. The organizations I have worked for varied greatly: large, small, public, private, for and not-for profit. About 10 years ago I realized I am much more motivated working for an organization with an important purpose. I spent the last four years as the Director of Operations at LCH Health and Community Services, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Southern Chester County, PA. I served as LCH’s Interim President and CEO for the second half of 2019. Since 2016, LCH nearly doubled the number of patients served and has added service lines including Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Dental, Behavioral Health and substance abuse treatment. LCH faced many of the same challenges we see in the Health Centers and clinical practices at PCOM and I look forward to applying what I have learned to meet those challenges.
Our Healthcare Centers and clinical practices are extremely important to the communities they serve. We are their medical home and my vision is to emphasize patient-centered care. I aim to improve access to our members by increasing efficiencies and building on PCOM’s culture of service. The Healthcare Centers and clinical practices are also extremely important to the hands-on instruction of our students. The growth of our centers and their engaged, talented staff provide an atmosphere for education and inspiration.
While we endeavor to increase access to healthcare, the COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges that further limit our ability to do so. In the early stages of this health crisis, PCOM Healthcare Centers and clinical practices quickly employed telehealth to continue providing access. Telehealth will remain a part of PCOM’s care delivery model. We have also learned how to open our doors and provide traditional live visits in a safe and effective way. We must continue to be creative and nimble in this ever-changing environment.
My favorite thing about PCOM is being a part of a healthcare system that delivers quality care to a vulnerable population. I also appreciate PCOM’s family culture.
One of my passions is sailing. I did not grow up around boats but have always been drawn to them. I started sailing small boats whenever I could. As an adult I joined a racing club near Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and learned how to sail larger yachts. I have since skippered sailboats up to 53 feet and have made a few offshore voyages, though I most enjoy cruising to colorful ports in the Chesapeake Bay. I currently keep a classic 34 foot sloop in Annapolis.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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