Meet Breen – Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2022

| November 17, 2021

Gerard “Gerry” Breen grew up on Long Island in New York. He attended school in the Bronx and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University. As a new graduate, he’d originally planned to work in a bank; but his first job was working for Blue Cross Blue Shield, auditing hospitals. It was a good match and after five years, he was recruited by a hospital that he had audited. Breen has had a career in hospital finance ever since, totaling more than 30 years of experience.

One of the benefits of a career in hospital finance is the opportunity to move around the country and the Breen’s have been fortunate to have lived in several unique locations: Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio and Colorado.  His wife, Barbara, is a teacher, and as Gerry pointed out, “There is a hospital and a school in every town.” Timing the moves to be compatible with school and sport schedules, living in different parts of the country enabled his five sons to be “flexible and versatile,” characteristics that they still find useful in their careers today. Gerry has worked in both urban and rural hospitals in financial management and finds that this broad and varied experience is a great asset in his current role at Coshocton Regional Medical Center.

As chief financial officer, he oversees the finances of the hospital. He is responsible for collections of patient accounts, ensuring information is processed correctly, and works as part of a team to promote the efficiency and productivity of the hospital. Gerry ensures staffing is maintained at optimal levels and “sees every invoice and signs every check.” Every so often a financial analysis is completed to look at adding a new service to the hospital.  Gerry states, “The new service has to make financial and clinical sense.” A service makes “clinical sense” when it will be performed at a sufficiently frequent rate so that the doctors and nurses involved in that service can maintain proficiency and a high standard of service to their patients.

Prior to moving to Coshocton, Gerry was involved with both the Rotary and Lions Clubs and is learning about opportunities to get involved in Coshocton.  Most recently, he was a member of the Homelessness Coalition in Coshocton and served on the Board of Directors of Standing Oaks.

Gerry thinks it is “important to learn about Coshocton” which is why he decided to participate in Leadership Coshocton. He hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the things that make Coshocton unique and expand his knowledge of the people and businesses in Coshocton County. Gerry is looking forward to networking with the other members of Leadership Coshocton as well as the leaders of other businesses in the community.

In viewing Coshocton as a community, Gerry sees the community members as being “somewhat insulated from each other. “There are people doing “very well” but at the same time, through his work on the Homeless Coalition, he knows that there are those in our community who are really struggling. He “sees depression” in interactions with others but recognizes that organizations such as the Port Authority and Our Town Coshocton can “build up Main Street and help things to improve.” Gerry recognizes that Coshocton was once a “booming town” and there is “sadness that it is no more.” Unfortunately, this is a situation that he has seen repeated in other places in the country, but he is encouraged by the efforts of so many to help Coshocton to continue to grow and improve and potentially gain back its former lustra.

Getting new businesses will make the county stronger but Gerry hopes the community will be patient. There needs to be an acceptance that Coshocton might not immediately come back to what it was like in its “Glory Days,” but any advancement forward is good. Gerry believes that one thing that Coshocton needs to concentrate on is retaining the younger talent within our community which will go a long way to bringing it (the county) back.

Gerry would “definitely” recommend Leadership Coshocton to “anybody that is new to the community to learn more about Coshocton – what makes it tick and the many businesses that make up our community. The leadership discussions would be beneficial to new managers or younger people to learn how to manage better. Although he has been in leadership and management for years, Gerry states that he has learned to appreciate the different perspectives of his colleagues in Leadership Coshocton.” So far I’ve been very happy with the program!”

Category: Clubs & Organizations

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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