This spring, James Turi joined CCAPS as the new Faculty Director of the Health Services Management (HSM) Bachelor of Applied Science degree program. Turi comes to the College with over 20 years of health care experience, spanning a variety of health care positions and leadership roles.
Prior to joining CCAPS, Turi served as Manager of Quality, Patient Safety, and Accreditation at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare; as Accreditation, Certification, and Medical Staff Quality Manager at United Hospital, part of Allina Health Aetna; and as a Manager of the Transplant Clinic at University of Minnesota Physicians. He has led many successful teams, improvement projects, and programs, and his experiences have included work in safety, quality, leadership, and process improvement. Turi runs his own small business (Compass Health Consulting) and is a little league coach, husband to his wife Brenda, father of three children, a community volunteer, and a self-described lifelong learner and champion of servant leadership.
As Turi begins his new role as HSM Faculty Director, we asked him a few questions.
First, please share what excites you about health care and the health care industry.
I’ve always been motivated by the prospect of serving others. I’m purpose-driven when it comes to my career, which, for me, translates to finding purpose in offering care to transform and improve lives. I like to tell people that working in health care gives me the opportunity to sow seeds of possibility. Those seeds are planted in health care teams and organizations to produce the fruits of healing in those seeking our care.
What drew you to this position of HSM Faculty Director?
In short, it was the students that drew me here. I admire the caliber and character I see in them. When I was at Gillette Children’s Hospital, I had the pleasure of working with two HSM students who were doing internships. I was deeply impressed by the value they delivered and service they brought to Gillette, and I remember wanting to hire both of them as full-time staff. The level of integrity, respect, organization, and diligence I saw in those students was inspiring. When this position as HSM Faculty Director came available, I saw it as an opportunity for me to be part of the program that shaped such promising health care professionals.
What inspires you about the HSM bachelor's degree?
I’m inspired by the diversity that the HSM program has. Diversity is all about talking and listening to people who are different from ourselves, enlarging our understanding in the process. This is why diversity is so important, especially when it comes to education. I’m also inspired by the common bond that I see to serve others here. I look forward to meeting and cultivating our future health care leaders in the HSM program. I know that, because of this degree program, the future is brighter.
How do you see the HSM program growing or evolving?
Health care is an ever-changing landscape and will continue to be one of the most diverse and complex industries in the world. That being said, one constant will always be service. This is the heart of health care. I plan to push continuous innovation with a drive to constantly reinvent, align, integrate, and ultimately cultivate value for our community, students, and staff. This drive to push the envelope will happen in the context of staying true to our mission, vision, and values.
What message do you have for students, alumni, faculty, and staff as you adjust to your new role and join the HSM team?
I would remind the HSM community that, at its core, this degree is about three things: cultivating health care professionals’ skills; realizing dreams; and putting talents in service for the betterment of communities. I’m thrilled to be part of this team.
You're coming on board during a pandemic—unusual circumstances. What's going through your head as you're acclimating and starting this new chapter in the midst of COVID-19?
Well, aside from all the songs that go through my head in the 20 seconds it takes to wash my hands multiple times each day, I’m thinking a lot about how important it is to enjoy the work we’re doing, as it’s truly a gift to serve others right now. This will continue to take generous amounts of patience, caring, dedication, creativity, and grace, whether in a pandemic or not. I speak for many when I say I have enormous gratitude for the experts and people who are caring for us right now.