Why do you do what you do?
I was very fortunate to have been hired into an entry-level management position right out of college at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. That was my first exposure to health care administration and I loved it.
After earning my master’s degree, I soon became a hospital CEO and have stayed in an industry that has continued to challenge and fascinate me in its complexity and its ability to help people. Health care is very complex and incorporates many societal and cultural issues that may not appear on the daily radar screens for most other industries. Obviously, health care is big business.
Mercy (Medical Center) is the third-largest employer in Stark County. Health care also continues to be one of the major economic forces in the state of Ohio. Its processes and services are often lifesaving. It is healing. It is compassion for people who find themselves in situations that are beyond their control and where they often cannot help themselves. For me — and I believe for everyone at Mercy — health care is a mission, and I take my role in serving that mission very seriously.
I have volunteered for many civic and nonprofit groups wherever my family and I have lived, but especially so in Stark County. Having benefited from this great community when I was growing up, I want to make sure that our community stays strong for all future generations.
The only real way I know how to do that is to take an active interest and be involved.To me, no other place that I lived could hold a candle to Stark County. That is at least partially due to the strong volunteer spirit that exists here. Because of my work and because of my background, I feel compelled to be a part of that volunteer ethos.
What is on your bucket list?
The number one thing on my bucket list today is to watch and enjoy my 1-year-old granddaughter, Meghan, grow up to be an accomplished young woman. I also hope that there may be other grandchildren soon to follow, who I can also watch.
In addition to that, traveling in this country and abroad is what I hope to do when I get more time.
What is on my mind?
My hope is that the individuals who are leading our government can find a way to do what is best for our country rather than for any particular party. I hope they can focus on solving the chronic problems that we all know exist. By solving some of those problems, our leaders can give everyone in this country not only a chance to get a good job, but also get more people to recognize that each person also has a responsibility to try to work hard to support themselves and their families, to educate themselves and their families, and that they should try to become contributing citizens in the community and not some reality show personality.
ABOUT THOMAS CECCONI
WHAT: President and chief executive officer of Mercy Medical Center
EDUCATION: St.Thomas Aquinas High School, 1969; John Carroll University, Bachelor of Arts in history, 1973; Baldwin Wallace College, Master of Business Administration, 1980.
COMMUNITY BOARDS: Walsh University board of directors; Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors and past chairman; Stark Development Board, member, past fund drive chairman; Akron Regional Hospital Association board, past chairman; Ohio Hospital Association, Foundation for Healthy Communities board member; ArtsinStark annual fund drive, past chairman; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure, past chairman;American Heart Association Heart, past chairman for Heart Walk; chairman for 2012 Black & White Ball of the Greater Stark County Urban League; member of St.Michael the Archangel Catholic Church.