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Mitchell Cox, 28
Director of Corporate Projects and Planning, CoxHealth
As CoxHealth’s Director of Corporate Projects and Planning, Mitchell Cox spends his days working as a bridge between CoxHealth’s upper management and the medical professionals and patients that make the system run. Mitchell worked his way up from admissions to the hospital’s front office in just a few short years.
Armed with a business degree and a master’s in health administration, Mitchell’s primary focus is to develop and implement CoxHealth’s strategic plan and help the organization focus on a handful of strategies. He’s also responsible for scanning the healthcare market to make sure CoxHealth is prepared for upcoming changes, properly covering its service area and keeping an eye out for new business opportunities. Despite his age, Mitchell says CoxHealth’s senior leadership has been very supportive in letting him take on large projects.
A pivotal part of his work, he says, is the need to focus on prevention rather than intervention—keeping the patient population healthy with the right care at the right time in the right setting. He also likes working side-by-side with CoxHealth employees. “This isn’t an environment where you’re just working side-by-side with people from eight to five,” Mitchell says. “They are very passionate about the work they’re doing.”
Mitchell volunteers for Children’s Miracle Network and helped establish CoxHealth’s young professionals group. He and his wife, Shanan, live in Springfield.
Job title and where you work: Director of Corporate Projects & Planning, CoxHealth
Education: Bachelor of Science, Administrative Management, Missouri State University, Master of Health Administration, Missouri State University
City or town where you live: Nixa
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
While I was getting my undergraduate degree in business, I worked at Cox South. Business had always interested me, but so had healthcare. I chose to pursue a career that melded the two together in healthcare administration. I went on to get to my Master’s degree in Health Administration from Missouri State University. While going through the program, I worked with various CoxHealth senior leaders as an Administrative Intern with a primary focus on physician clinic operations. That opened the door for a number of other opportunities at CoxHealth. I was able to spend a few years working in the managed care division overseeing many aspects of our financial operations with commercial insurers and work with a vast array people across our organization and with many of our external business partners. That experience allowed me to gain a good understanding of our operations, see the big picture, and eventually grow into the role I’m in today.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
It’s easy to be inspired when you hear the stories about how the work we are doing at CoxHealth is positively impacting the communities we serve. When you can play a central role in driving large projects and initiatives that have a direct impact on the lives of patients and their families across Southwest Missouri, that’s a powerful motivator.
3. Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
I have been married to my wife Shanan for 2-and-a-half years. We don’t have any children.
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I like being outdoors. My wife and I enjoy going to the lake in the summer, going to sporting events, and spending time with friends and family. We also really enjoy traveling. We’ve had the opportunity to visit some great places over the last several years like Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, Ireland and a lot of areas in the states.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
I volunteer with Children’s Miracle Network. It’s a great organization that helps provide much needed support to children and their families who have healthcare needs that may otherwise go unmet.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations?
I’m a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.
7. How would you define the secret to success?
Be eager to take on new challenges, work hard, build strong relationships, be dependable, maintain your integrity, find great mentors, and learn as much as you can.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
Variety. I never know what each day will bring. My job is one that gives me the opportunity to work with every facet of a large regional organization, and with that I never know what to expect when I come in each morning. You have to be able to adapt quickly in this role. I might be collaborating on a project in Branson, discussing trends in our labor force, working with our senior leaders on strategic initiatives, evaluating a new business opportunity, meeting with community leaders on ways we can partner together, and then go to lunch.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
There is a closely connected business community with a lot of great talent. I enjoy working with people in this area.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Set big goals early and don’t waste any time pursuing them.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
Like a lot of other kids, I wanted to be a professional athlete. I loved sports growing up and played a lot of them. My dream of going in the first round of the NBA draft didn’t quite pan out, but luckily I found something else I was good at.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Passion, focus and persistence.
13. Why are you a 20 Under 30?
I have a lot of passion for what I do and I’m determined to make a big impact.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
I’m currently helping drive the implementation of many large strategic initiatives across the health system and will continue to push those forward throughout the year.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
With the support of CoxHealth’s senior leadership team, I facilitated the development of our new strategic plan that will chart the course of the entire organization for the next several years.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Family and friends makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without encountering a new challenge.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm still as driven as I am today.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would donate to causes I support and invest in various businesses.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is being recognized by my colleagues and networking with other young professionals.