Adding it Up – An Accountant’s Career in Health Care

Delivering quality patient care across four health systems in six states is a multidisciplinary team approach to a commitment of excellence. Among the 18,000 employees within Ardent Health Services, individuals make decisions every day that impact our patients’ care and their experience within our hospitals and clinics. It is a profound responsibility and what we call the power of one. Innate in that message is the opportunity to influence a patient’s experience no matter your role within our organization.

In the world of Ardent’s manager of budget and planning, Lacy Delon, those opportunities come in the form of internal capital requests. With the mind of an accountant and the heart of a provider, spreadsheets, equations and summations are the tools Lacy employs to assess and prescribe opportunities to serve our patients, providers, nurses and staff. They are decisions with the power to make a difference in patients’ lives.

“I was raised by my aunt and uncle,” Lacy shares. “I grew up watching my uncle, who still works for the Tennessee Hospital Association and I knew I wanted to be in health care. I knew Nashville was a great environment for a career in health care.” There was one problem, however. “I’ll admit I’m a little squeamish.”

Though Lacy did not envision herself in an operating room, she knew her strengths and interests in accounting could help her form a path that would allow her to be involved in health care in a meaningful way and obtained a certified public accountant (CPA) license. “My goal coming out of college was to get into health care administration,” she explains. Honing her skills as a public accountant, Lacy recognized her first opportunity to pursue health care as an internal auditor at Ardent. “I liked the fact that Ardent was a big player in Nashville, yet still had a small corporate office where you can see the CEO in the hallway and say ‘Hi.’”

As an internal auditor, Lacy engaged with local hospital leaders and staff working on a variety of special projects. “I had the opportunity to go to the hospitals and shadow nurses to make sure they were charging supplies appropriately, for example,” she says. “The financial component impacts operations on a daily basis. Reviewing and approving capital expenditures is really understanding what we’re spending and why we are spending it. Will this result in better patient care? Will we see a financial return on the investment?  It has to make sense.”

Serving today as the manager of budget and planning, Lacy assists all Ardent facilities and the corporate office with budgeting and forecasting. It is work beyond the bedside that enables our hospital administrators, providers, nurses and staff to care for their patients. “I look at it that way every day, making sure we are providing the best patient care,” she says. “We’re working on the end product by making sound financial and operational decisions.”

To learn more about opportunities at Ardent Health Services, click here.


Ardent Health Services

Ardent Health Services invests in quality health care. In people, technology, facilities and communities, Ardent makes considerable investments – producing high quality care and extraordinary results.

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