Meeting Leading Medicine’s New Leader: CEO Michael Garcia

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

On the porch with Houston Methodist Sugar Land’s new CEO Michael Garcia, and yes, he is a rock star!

There’s a new kid on the block at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (HMSL). It’s the new Chief Executive Officer Michael Garcia.  After Chris Siebenaler’s 17-year stint as the CEO, Garcia is taking the reins of the ever-expanding, state-of-the-art medical campus in Sugar Land.

I had the opportunity to spend some time on the porch with HMSL’s new leader, and from what I can tell, this new kid on the block has got the right stuff to continue the premier medical care we’ve all come to rely on – all close to home.

From the Philippines to Jersey Boy and now Texan.  How long have you lived in Texas?  I was born in Quezon City, Philippines, raised in Howell, New Jersey and have lived in Texas since 2005 – long enough that when I go back to New Jersey, it’s clear that I’m a Texan now as I say “all y’all.”

Tell me about the Garcia boys.  I have three boys – a 19-year-old at Michigan State University; a 9-year-old turning 10 this week; and a 7-year-old.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your boys?  We love going to parks, especially the one in Sugar Land off of University.  Museums are a favorite along with the zoo.  I’ve been to countless birthday parties at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land – the dino pit was always a fav for my boys.  The Fort Bend Discovery Museum is also one we enjoy.  And I can’t forget about Japaneiro’s and Sweet Paris at Sugar Land Town Center.  We just love getting out and exploring.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.  I have an identical twin brother, and we both graduated from high school at age 16.  But I’m three minutes older!

A high school graduate at 16, and all those initials behind your name – Doctor of Jurisprudence, Registered Nurse and Nurse Executive Certification. Why did you choose health care?  I was exposed to hospitals early as my twin brother suffered a broken leg in grade school.  I broke an arm also as a grade school student, and then I spent one month in the hospital following a motorcycle accident.  I didn’t know it then, but it shaped who I am.  It shaped the notion of customer service, exceptional care and how I want to give back.  After spending over 20 years in the health care field, I began at Houston Methodist in 2013 as vice president of operations and then served as chief operating officer in 2015 throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Houston Methodist Hospital Sugar Land?  Building on the success of the leaders before me.  Sugar Land is a fast-growing community, and as a community hospital, we have an obligation to keep up with that growth – something Houston Methodist Sugar Land has done very well.  We now have 350 hospital beds and 27 operating rooms, but my focus is wellness in the community and preventative medicine – keeping our community healthy and providing proactive medical care to keep our friends and neighbors out of those hospital beds and enjoying a healthy life.

Healthy living is definitely an important goal for everyone.  Is there another area in health care that you are passionate about?  Mental health in the community is important to me.  Communities prosper when the mental health needs of community members are met.  Unaddressed mental health needs can have a negative influence on homelessness, employment, safety and the local economy.

What does it mean to you to be the CEO of HMSL?  It’s an incredible opportunity to work with exceptional people in an outstanding organization that has stellar individual hospitals that focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation.  In addition, being able to come back to the community setting and lead this hospital is an honor for me as I want to be able to provide this great community with the exceptional care they expect by building upon the success HMSL has enjoyed over the last 25+ years.

Let’s talk guilty pleasures.  I have a sweet tooth and a weakness for most any desserts, especially flan, key lime pie and cookies.  (In true Texas porch protocol, you bet I brought Michael cookies for our porch time!)

It’s rodeo season in Houston.  What’s your rodeo fav?  Definitely the carnival rides with my boys and the concerts.  I’ve seen Kane Brown, Garth Brooks and Journey.  Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is a go to song for me.  It can be applied to virtually any situation in life.

I couldn’t agree more.  Yes, we’re in good hands with this connoisseur of pop music, and most importantly, his vast experience and dedication to providing quality health care.  Michael is continually walking the HMSL campus meeting the members of Team Methodist and the community.  Be sure to say hello if you see him!  See ya’ll next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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