Samuel E. Moscowitz is a pillar in Baltimore: the former chairman of the board at Krieger Schechter Day School, the current first vice president of the board at Chizuk Amuno.
His colleagues and friends describe him as cheerful and friendly, for sure. But they also call him efficient, prepared and a person with vision.
It’s the melting pot of these attributes that seems to be the catalyst behind Moscowitz’s success.
Since May, Moscowitz has been the president of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, a role he came to after almost 20 years as part of the Mercy Health Services leadership team.
Moscowitz made the switch not because he needed a change, but because he wants to be a part of the change in the health-care industry that he thinks is long overdue, sorely needed and a part of the solution to our country’s health-care woes.
“MedStar has a vision that is unique,” said Moscowitz. “We believe we are going to have to be a part of the health-care solution.”
Moscowitz said health care is expensive — for the government, for businesses that provide health insurance and for individuals who need it.
“MedStar wants to be part of the change — to take care of people, to keep them healthy and to help them manage their health,” he said.
And he is trying to create a hospital where his employees — from the janitors through the head physicians — buy in. For those who know Moscowitz, it’s not surprising that he is able to build such enthusiasm among his staff of 3,500. He simply doesn’t believe in sitting in his office.
“I feel strongly that you need to get out and touch people,” he said. “My philosophy is that despite the technological advances we have had, [the health-care industry] is still very much a people business.”
His employees have a say in how resources are spent. He calls it being “physician centric.”
“The best people to design the system are physicians, nurses and patients. You can’t rule from the Temple Mount,” Moscowitz said.
He also collaborates with others in the greater MedStar system, which consists of nine area hospitals with 27,000 associates and 5,000 physicians. It’s the largest medical system in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, and Moscowitz is among the upper echelon.
He was candid about the fact that “I had never been to this side of town,” when he started at the center, located in the Rosedale area. But that didn’t faze him. He started his time with Franklin Square by driving around and meeting with community members and leaders to understand his constituency.
This dedication to the care and quality of his relationships, said Rabbi Ronald Shulman of Chizuk, is one thing that sets Moscowitz apart as a synagogue leader, too.
“Sam is a warm, embracing and caring person,” said Shulman. “His family is loving, close-knit and Jewishly engaged.”
But he’s not afraid to push the envelope. For MedStar, that means building a system where employees are rewarded for keeping people healthy and where there are more ambulatory-type services and clinics so that people who need medical care don’t always end up in the ER.
At Krieger Schechter, this meant, according to former Head of School Paul Schneider, not being “afraid to move ahead the agenda, even though it may be breaking with past traditions.”
Married to Jodi with two children, Moscowitz is poised to keep moving forward — in his career and in his Jewish communal work. He is ready, he said, but will do so — in both roles — with three Jewish values in mind: Torah, avodah and gemilut chasadim. Said Moscowitz: “You never stop learning, you need a spiritual side … and you give back.”