Department Spotlight: Finance
April 28, 2023
Help celebrate the end of tax season by recognizing Renown's Finance team!
The financial health of every organization is integral to their mission delivery. A health system like ours is no different – and it comes with many intricacies that require a top-notch finance team. The work of financial professionals in healthcare goes far beyond just balancing the books and ensuring bills are paid on time; their work is instrumental to the sustainability and growth of every organization.
The Finance department at Renown Health makes a genuine difference by partnering with every team across our health system to safeguard their financial vitality. From accounting and payroll to financial planning and analysis, this team manages our financial resources effectively to assure we can continue providing the highest quality of care to all patients.
The team members in Renown’s robust Finance department run the gamut of financial expertise:
- Accounts Payable pays all our bills to our vendors.
- Tax and Treasury handles our business licensing and investments.
- Accounting records our financial transactions, prepares financial statements and reports transactions to the public and the government.
- Payroll ensures all our employees are paid for their service.
- Financial Planning and Analysis focuses on long-range planning and evaluates projects for a positive return on investment.
As our in-house finance experts, this team’s workdays are anything but ordinary. Every day – and even every month and season – looks different than the last. On top of it all, these team members know exactly what it means to represent Renown’s cultural commitment to collaboration.
“We handle a varied set of tasks daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly,” said Minty Huynh, Database Administrator for Renown Health. “We could be churning through a planning cycle involving multiple reports and leader meetings, or we could be diving into details about why a specific department has a charge that brings them over budget.”
“Given that my role is tied with a lot of other finance and accounting departments, there is a lot of variability in the role on a day-to-day, week-to-week and monthly basis,” added Michaell Poertner, Financial Systems Administrator for Renown. “Regarding cross-functional collaboration, we meet with team leaders to address any issues or concerns they have with process or data, then work to alleviate those concerns. We all work together to ensure we record and account for our businesses within established rules and regulations.”
Helping lead our leadership team through financial and strategic goals plays a major part in Renown’s success. Our Finance team has nailed this down to a science. That guidance is driven by two key aspects: data and determination.
“Our team performs specific activities around planning and budgeting, financial effectiveness of current operations and planning for the future,” said Deirdre Maurer, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Renown. “We analyze data and provide support for our operations teams. Additionally, we manage Axiom, our financial performance management tool used for all our financial activities: capital planning and tracking, budgeting, long-term planning, management reporting and productivity.”
The excitement of solving problems and presenting high-quality analyses drives this team to succeed. However, given the complexities of their everyday work, one may believe that they stay siloed in their own areas.
The reality is the opposite – these team members appreciate each other immensely and attribute many triumphs to their colleagues.
“I get to work on puzzles every day, such as taking capital projects and building a complete package of reports and documentation to support the many assets at Renown,” said Debra Reyes, Accountant for Renown. “I need and appreciate everyone: Accounts Payable for reclassing items, Finance for project funding, leadership for direction and departments across our health system for working with me on serial numbers and in-use information for capital items.”
Our entire Finance team is committed to providing the necessary support and guidance to everyone at Renown, ensuring our financial well-being every step of the way.
“The finance team supports business partners in managing current and future financial well-being,” said Nancy Perryman, Principal Financial Analyst for Renown. “We are here to help and work with every department that needs it.”
As an organization, Renown Health went through a significant change in 2022 that helped set us on a positive financial trajectory. Last year, our senior leadership decided to transition from a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year to a calendar fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 to link up with Hometown Health’s fiscal year and the fiscal years of most health systems nationwide. From July 1 to Dec. 31, Renown navigated through a “stub period,” which was an opportunity for our team to build upon and deeply analyze our financial health in preparation for a strong, year-long fiscal year.
This transition was accomplished with the dedicated, efficient Finance team, who led Renown through this tough time. In addition, their proactive approach to our calendar year planning during the stub period directly impacted Renown’s margin improvements and financial longevity into 2023 and beyond.
“Changing our fiscal year meant that we needed a special audit only a few months after our last audit for the six-month ‘stub’ period between the old and new fiscal years,” said Shanna Entin, CPA, Senior Accountant for Renown. “There are a lot of challenges with a smaller audit, as some are familiar while some are new, but I’m proud to say we knocked that audit out of the water.”
Despite this uniquely busy season, none of the Finance department’s additional duties fell by the wayside. They celebrated an expedited five-year plan completion, planning turnarounds and much more, all while guiding Renown through the stub period.
“I am proud of this team for finishing our rolling forecasting within two weeks and completing the five-year plan within another couple of weeks,” said Michaell Poertner. “We converted our system to a calendar fiscal year and ensured data integrity was maintained the entire time."
“We’ve had many great accomplishments involving expedited planning cycle turnarounds such as our five-year financial plans in two weeks, the calendar year 2022 finances in another two weeks and a fiscal-to-calendar year conversion,” added Minty Huynh. “We are proud of having pulled together to deliver our plans to the board on time.”
Who can forget the ramifications of the pandemic? During this trying time, our Finance team supported COVID-19 initiatives to ensure all our care teams had the resources they needed to provide the highest standard of care for our most critical patients.
“I am proud that our team was able to support the accounting team with data to reinforce the funding we received for COVID-related expenses,” said Deirdre Maurer. “Our team continues to be here to help any Renown employee, which we are happy to do.”
And the successes of our finance change agents keep on coming – full speed ahead.
“Simply put, we rock,” said Debra Reyes. “We have been able to record assets with more details than before, such as adding locations, serial numbers and more. We have had great audits because our reporting and eye for detail have been keen. We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, becoming friends in the process."
Falling in L.O.V.E. with Renown
Respect, reputation, relationships – this is the Finance department’s “Renown Why.” Acknowledging Renown’s community impact and giving back to the health system that provided vital support during some of their most daunting times were common themes among this team for why they joined our purple family.
“I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so much,” said Shanna Entin. “In March 2009, the ICU team went above and beyond trying to keep my late husband alive. He was a professional ski patroller caught in an avalanche while doing snow control work in Lake Tahoe. Even though he succumbed to his injuries, I will always be grateful to them for not giving up on him. Some 21 months later, my current husband landed in the same ICU with a flailed chest and various injuries from a skiing accident. The care he received in those nine days healed him enough to continue his care at home.”
“I chose to work at Renown because we spent much time at this hospital when I was younger,” added Nancy Perryman. “My sister and I interacted with patients and delivered homemade cards to the elderly, and nurses brought us hot chocolate. Renown felt like home as much as possible when we were here with my father. Then, as an adult, when my father was in his final days, our family surrounded my father, and the amazing Renown staff surrounded us.”
“Renown is a well-known name within the Reno area, and I wanted to work with a company with a good reputation and longevity,” added Michaell Poertner.
Now, why do they stay? For this department, the answer is simple: their colleagues. Like many other departments at Renown, the encouraging and uplifting team atmosphere inspires them to continue making a difference. It helps them remain dedicated to Renown’s mission and vision.
“What keeps me at Renown is the awesome team of professionals I get to call my colleagues,” said Shanna Entin. “We take our jobs seriously. And at the same time, dealing with life is always prioritized over work. So many people are willing and able to jump in to cover you when life throws a curve ball.”
The proof “is in the pudding” – many members of this team have a 20+ year-long tenure at Renown, and they remain loyal to this day, excited for the journey ahead of them.
“I applied here in 1999 to be an Accounts Payable Clerk at Renown South Meadows while I was wrapping up my courses at Career College of Northern Nevada; I’m thankful I’m still here,” said Debra Reyes. “I have a very interesting history with Renown and have experienced a wide range of things. That’s why I stay – for what lies ahead.”
“I chose to work at Renown 20 years ago to make a ‘genuine difference,’ and I like that Renown had and still has a focus on the community and quality healthcare,” added Deirdre Maurer. “I am here today because I enjoy the people, our values and our continued commitment to our patients, community and each other. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a great organization.”
The gratitude among this team transcends beyond office walls, and they welcome any fellow finance experts to consider joining their department and embracing the future together.
“I’m thankful every day, even on the hard days,” closes Debra Reyes.