The List – The Top Influencers of 2019 – Drew Early

The List – The Top Influencers of 2019 – Drew Early

Drew Early

President and CEO, Decatur Memorial Hospital 

Who was your first mentor in life?

My parents. The lessons they taught my siblings and me still resonate: be honest, work hard and carry yourself with integrity. I live by these concepts every day.

What was your most memorable lesson?

Push yourself out of your comfort zone. People are creatures of habit and will do what is easy and comfortable. This comfort can lead you to look at challenges and opportunity in the same light, time and time again. Moving away from what you know, welcoming diverse, differing opinions and being open to being challenged can spur creativity and innovation.

What does community mean to you?

To me, community is a group of people who come together for common goal or purpose. No matter how large or small, when people come together the result is often greater than the sum of its parts. In my first few months at DMH, I’ve seen many examples of how our teams collaborate to serve the community. Creating a great outcome for every patient, every time, requires teamwork among our colleagues and medical staff. I’m also proud of the partnerships that DMH and Memorial have with SIU and Springfield Clinic – we know that we can be better together.

Why are you involved in the community?

Because it matters. I am very fortunate to be part of an organization that serves the community every day. Any one of us can be affected by an injury or illness, and knowing that DMH will be there to help is an awesome feeling. Our patients are friends and family – our community – and everyone at DMH takes seriously our mission of improving the health of the people and communities we serve.

What advice would you give to people who want to do more?

Start small. The adage of “think globally and act locally” could not be more true. A small gesture in your neighborhood, school, church or workplace can have huge, lasting impact. When the community gives back, we all win.