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Leadership at the Bedside

Chuck Prosper succeeds in leading a medical center with nearly 700 beds and three sites in part because of his ability to navigate diverse perspectives.

“I’m often in meetings with both physicians and administrators, working to balance their different viewpoints,” he says. “It reminds me of my time at Haas, when I was surrounded by people from more traditional business professions. I was only one of two students with a health care background—but the cross-pollination of perspectives was invaluable.”

Prosper started his career in 1989 as a physical therapist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia; over the next few years he moved into administrative leadership in the physical and occupational therapy departments. He balanced clinical practice and administrative work for 15 years, leaving clinical practice completely in 2004. After earning his MBA, he worked for Sutter Health’s Marin General Hospital as chief administrative officer. He became COO of Alta Bates Summit in 2010 and CEO in 2012.

“I pursued my MBA to become a better leader, and because I understand patient care at the bedside, I hope to influence care delivery on a larger scale,” he says. One of his key accomplishments since he arrived at Alta Bates Summit has been the on-time, on-budget completion of a new 238-bed, 10-story patient care facility in Oakland. Now, he actively seeks new ideas.

“I try to visit with a patient every day, as well as with staff, nurses, and physicians,” he says. “We all can learn from each other through active listening.” —KMY

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Chuck Prosper, MBA 97

Chuck Prosper, MBA 97

CEO, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Berkeley, Calif.