Posted October 18, 2020
Meet our new president Bill Epling.
Born at Summa Health System-Akron Campus, Bill is literally a born and raised Northeast Ohio native. That gives him a unique perspective on our local market and the people who live and work here. However, his 30-year healthcare delivery and health plan experience extends far beyond his roots.
His deep experience will serve him well as he tackles the challenges of the ever-evolving healthcare delivery system. “I think the diversity of my experience having spent 20 years running a provider sponsored health plan and the next 15 years in the for-profit health plan and PBM industries have given me a very wide spectrum of experience and perspectives in the business,” he said.
His local roots inform his new role as SummaCare’s president. “It provides me with an understanding of the market, the history and evolution of the healthcare delivery system in the local market as well as established relationships in the industry and regulatory bodies.” He believes that depth and perspective are critical to developing and implementing SummaCare’s future strategy and vision.
He made an early shift from finance to healthcare and never looked back.
“My educational background is financially oriented (CPA),” he explained. “Very early on in my career, an opportunity presented itself for me to join a “start-up” provider sponsored health plan. The dynamic involved in the financing and delivery of healthcare was very appealing to me. Being able to be involved in helping to improve the quality, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of the healthcare delivery system was challenging but at the same time satisfying in ultimately trying to improve the quality and outcomes in the system.”
A member-focused organization gets a “people person” at the top.
Asked what professional achievement is his most rewarding, Epling says it’s the opportunity to mentor and develop others through their career paths and help them boldly pursue opportunities for growth. “It is extremely satisfying to help an individual succeed to the highest level of their potential.”
His first priority: listening and learning.
Epling plans to kick off his tenure by engaging with his SummaCare team to understand their priorities and the challenges and opportunities we face in our market. Armed with that knowledge, he’ll help everyone collectively focus on moving SummaCare forward as a vital participant in the Northeast Ohio market.
“I have the utmost respect for SummaCare.”
Having worked in this industry for many years, Epling has nothing but praise for SummaCare and Summa Health. “The opportunity to join a local, community focused organization like SummaCare and help craft its direction and future success is very exciting. To join such a dedicated and experienced group of individuals at SummaCare is truly a privilege.”
He is committed to continuing to provide a level of service and responsiveness one can only experience from a local health plan. As a firm advocate of the Golden Rule, Epling believes we should all treat each other the way we’d like to be treated. “We should all be treated with respect and in a timely and courteous fashion, particularly when it comes to our individual healthcare needs.”
His vision for SummaCare is uncompromising.
Asked about his future vision for the organization, Epling was emphatic. “It is for SummaCare to regain its dominant position in the Northeast Ohio market as the preferred health plan that continues to provide the highest level of service, commitment and member loyalty while consistently giving back to the local community through its various partnerships and integration with Summa Health System.”
It takes a local family man to fully appreciate his community.
He and his wife Lori just celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of four children: Lindsey, Jennifer, Stoney and Ben. All the kids graduated from Chippewa High School and are attending or graduated from local colleges. Their Norton address is also home to Bernese Mountain Dog Grissly and Hook the cat.