Welcoming Different Perspectives Helps Alumnus Innovate in Homecare

Jeremy Hernandez, MHA

Jeremy Hernandez doesn’t have all the answers. In fact, from what he knows about leadership, he’s not supposed to. 

A 2010 WSU Master of Health Administration alumnus, Hernandez now serves as the executive nurse director for Intermountain Homecare. In that position, he oversees home health and hospice clinical care for 12 offices from Idaho to St. George, Utah. He knows that, sometimes, the best answers come from the teams on the ground, not just from him.

“I bring the leadership component, but I have to partner with my team around me, who are the content experts,” he said. 

He can relate to those content experts, having been both a nurse and a respiratory therapist. His background and education have been clinical (he has bachelor’s degrees in both of those fields from WSU), but his time in the MHA program expanded his view, he says. 

“It awakened an awareness and it broadened my perspective of the dynamics of healthcare,” he said. 

He gained that broadened perspective through the real-life experiences of his professors. At the time, he was in his first nurse manager job, and his focus was solely on the people he managed. The MHA program enabled him to see the outside business forces that could have a profound impact on those same people. 

“For me, it became much more than managing 50 nurses in Salt Lake,” Hernandez said. 

Despite that complexity, with different perspectives and focal points, the end goal remains the same: safe and effective care. That’s especially true in his domain of home health and hospice. 

“These are sacred moments for people, where being home is the best environment that we can heal in,” he said. 

Toward those ends, he and his team are continuing to innovate in the space of home health and hospice care, even being able to offer treatments like chemotherapy at a patient’s house.  Another promising space is in telehealth, where family members who live in other states can now more easily take part in consequential discussions. 

As his team’s capabilities continue to grow, Hernandez is eager to help the team members grow themselves. He has continued his involvement with Weber State’s MHA program, and he’s hired people from his own cohort. One of the best rewards? When a person he helped to grow reaches heights that even he hasn’t reached yet. 

“I love growing people,” he said.