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Cancer Helps CEO Fine-tune His Priorities - Peter S. Fine

Winter 2012 Newsbrief

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Peter S. Fine, FACHE, brings a unique perspective to the Arizona Chapter of the American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer. The president and CEO of Banner Health – one of the nation’s largest secular, nonprofit health care organizations – is a cancer survivor.

Fine has learned a great deal through his cancer experience, which he brings to the workplace, his personal life, and to the CEOs Against Cancer conversation to help change the course of the disease. Among other things, Fine discovered the leadership skills that serve him so well as CEO of Banner Health, which operates hospitals and other services in seven states, could also help him manage his cancer journey. In addition, Fine worked to remain visible and open about his diagnosis and treatment, choosing to live what he’s always said to others about management: “Visibility breeds credibility, and credibility breeds trust.”

Peter S. Fine CEO of Banner Health

“I maintained my credibility with the 35,000-plus employees of my organization, and they trusted me when I said I would be fine and that my cancer was curable,” Fine says. “I found that honestly talking about my cancer was important to my leadership and to my health. The problem with cancer is that many people let it define them. They become victims of cancer. I refused to do that.”

The disease also helped Fine “Weed out what was not important in my life,” he says. “I have kept this lesson with me even now as my treatment has concluded. I enjoy life more, and yes, I now take time to smell the roses.”

Fine also emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance among the Banner Health family in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming.
“As a CEO, I am always encouraging employees to lead a balanced life that incorporates stress-reducing activities as part of their routine activities,” he says. “A healthy employee population provides significant benefits to any organization. Not the least of which is maintaining focus on the mission of the company and minimizing life stress that affects us all on a routine basis.”