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Executive Profile: Larry B. Anderson

Larry B. Anderson is the chief executive officer at Tri-City Medical Center, an acute-care hospital serving northern San Diego County. Since his arrival in 2009, Anderson has transformed the once financially ailing, 397-bed hospital into a profitable, innovative medical center that is a leader in robotic surgery and offers the only spine surgery program in San Diego County, according to the center. Tri-City is recognized nationally for its outcomes in cardiac care. Under Anderson’s leadership, a multiyear campus expansion anchored by a soon-to-be-opened 57,000-square-foot medical office building will culminate with the construction of a new hospital. Tri-City Medical Center values its community and business partnerships. Anderson encourages collaboration with dozens of nonprofit agencies and champions new technology through exclusive agreements with Mazor Robotics, Vista-based DJO Global for the Vitamin E knee and the telemedicine program that connects Tri-City’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with UC San Diego.


Name: Larry B. Anderson.

Organization: Tri-City Medical Center.

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Title: Chief executive officer.

No. of employees: 2,300.

Year founded: 1961.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, political science, California State University Long Beach, 1970; Juris Doctorate, Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, 1975.

Birthplace: Maywood.

Age: 64.

Current residence: Carlsbad.

Family: Wife, Shirley; two daughters, Deborah, Catherine; son, Kevin.


Essential working philosophy: Hire the best people, give them the resources they need to succeed, nurture them, support them, but hold them accountable for their outcomes.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Continually innovate; technology is revolutionizing health care and you cannot assume that solutions that worked yesterday will work tomorrow.

Guiding principles: Employees will do what you “inspect” not what you “expect.” After making sure that your employees have the tools they need to succeed, hold them accountable.

Yardsticks of success: There are many in health care. We are publicly tracked on more than 80 measurements, but the most important of these is the satisfaction of our patients.

Goals yet to be achieved: Our goal is to build a new facility while “re-purposing” the existing facility and we plan to achieve that within the next five years.


Best professional decision: Building a career in health care after leaving government. I have found hospital administration to be very challenging.

Worst professional decision: Staying in one career too long. Do not be afraid to try a new vocation.

Toughest professional decision: Firing someone I really liked because their performance did not measure up.

Biggest missed opportunity: I’ve been fortunate to seize on most opportunities that have come my way.

Mentor: Mary Elcano, chief legal officer/general counsel, American Red Cross. She is a genius of management techniques.

Word that describes you: Determined.


What you like best about your job: Having the opportunity to reinvest all profits directly into programs and equipment that improve patient care directly.

What you like least about your job: There’s really nothing I don’t like.

Pet peeves: People who don’t listen. Talking is a privilege, listening is a gift.

Most important lesson learned: Find out what motivates each person, everyone is different.

Person most interested in meeting: Warren Buffett, his accomplishments are astonishing.

Three greatest passions: Family, fishing and work.

First choice for a new career: I’m on my third and last career.


Favorite quote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man,” — George Bernard Shaw.

Most influential book: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins.

Favorite status symbol: Recognition by my peers. Recognition by your peers is the ultimate compliment — they understand your challenges.

Favorite restaurant: Antonello Ristorante, in Santa Ana.

Favorite place for business meetings: My office. Neutral grounds are overrated. They are usually crowded and noisy.

Favorite vacation spot: Mazatlan, Mexico.

Favorite way to spend time: Boating, motorcycling, family.

—Steve Adamek


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