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Andre Storey doesn’t believe in dream jobs. Instead, he believes in being exceptional in the job he’s in. And it’s that mentality, he says, that has been central to his success as a young healthcare executive. “I live by the expression, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ In my experience, there’s always opportunity right where you are.”

A first-generation college graduate, this California native turned Texas transplant is no stranger to challenges. While pursuing his Master’s in Health Care Administration from Trinity University, he worked two jobs in addition to holding down an internship—just to pay the bills. Upon graduation, he was offered the position of Director of Population Health at a CHRISTUS Health hospital in Texarkana, Texas. He took it, but it was a challenge from the start—this was a brand-new position not just for the hospital, but for the entire health system.

From there, he moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he served as Regional Vice President of Ancillary Services for CHRISTUS Health’s Southwestern Louisiana facilities. He was in that role in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 22 inches of rain and caused widespread flooding and ruin across the region.

The next year, he moved to Dallas, where he took on the role of Director of Operations for the 950-bed Baylor University Medical Center. He lost his job in June 2020—one of the many economic casualties of the pandemic—and landed four months later in his current position, as Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Hermann Cypress, a suburban outpost of Houston’s largest nonprofit health system.

While he’s not saying what his future goals might be, he does offer this insight: “A track record of success is everything. If a new opportunity presents itself, I want to be doing a great job where I am first.”

Storey shared more about his professional journey in a past HealthTechS3 webinar, “A Day in the Life of a Minority Healthcare Executive.”

Storey is passionate about diversity in leadership, and he says he’s not just interested in the kind of diversity you can see. “We all have different pushes and pulls in our lives, and when the decisionmakers of a hospital have a personal understanding of as many of those challenges as possible, then we’re a better organization for it,” he says. “Diversity helps us make better decisions, and better decisions translate into better care.”

The experience of single parenting, for example, can bring new light to length of stay decisions. Having been an inpatient can improve leadership as well. “Many healthcare leaders rarely become patients themselves,” he says. “And when it happens, you hear about how it changes their perspective.”

If you’re looking to climb the career ladder, you don’t want to miss Storey’s webinar. He plans to share his tips for identifying mentors and getting the types of visible, complex assignments that can help accelerate career growth. “If you’re looking for growth opportunities, my best advice is to make your intentions known,” he says. “Oftentimes leaders are so focused on the task at hand. If they know you have an interest in stretching—and you have a track record of success in your current work—then there will be project opportunities for you. More often than not, people want to share the load.”