Q&A with Sean Fowler, CEO of Barstow Community Hospital
Sean Fowler grew up in a lower middle class family and has two sisters that are 17 and 18 years older than him, respectively. He has a bachelor of science degree in Scientific Human Nutrition from Texas A&M University and also holds a master of Business Administration and a master of Hospital Administration from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
Fowler grew up on a large farm in McAllen, Texas — “deep South Texas,” he said, 10 minutes from the Mexican border.
He used to care for farm animals before and after school. “I appreciated this privilege a little less at 5 a.m.,” he said.
He has worked as CEO of Barstow Community Hospital since July 2011.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I like to workout out at Anytime Fitness. I love to golf, and am an avid hunter and fisherman. When the new hospital is complete and I have a little more time on my hands, I plan to take advantage of those activities in the High Desert.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: I was the first person in my family to attend college. Luckily, my great nephew will force me to lose that title this year, as he has just been accepted to college. I am very proud of him.
Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: People would be held more accountable, but there would also be more mercy and forgiveness.
Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?
A: I would love to see the High Desert attract more business that would drive our local economy. I believe this area is ripe for research companies as they need lots of space and bring talented well paid employees. I would also like this area to cater more to “Mommy and Me” activities. If mama is not happy, no one is happy.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: General Douglas McArthur. Based upon the biographies I have read, he had a real passion for leadership and his men respected him greatly. I learned along time ago that people must be led and not managed. He appears to exemplify this mission. He also a fellow Texan.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My father. Although he passed away in November of 1996, I think about what he taught me with regard to character on a daily basis. He always told me that a man is only as good as his word.
I can only attempt to match his work ethic. He grew up in Pennsylvania and was a coal miner in his early years, circa 1935. He was blind in one eye, and he only had an eighth grade education.... He might be the smartest man I have ever met.
Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: I wish I could play the guitar.
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Life is about networking, and you are only as good as your reputation. Exercise the Golden Rule.
Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: I prefer to give to the church I attend as I believe tithing builds your faith and demonstrates honor to God.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: I went through Hurricane Katrina on the ground. I feel good about the service I provided to my employees and community during that tragic event.
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: That’s tough. I am a movie guy, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be a tie between “Top Gun” and “Wyatt Earp.” I love a movie where the hero stands behind what he believes in, demonstrates his ability.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in the High Desert?
A: I like the way it smells after it rains here. I also love the picturesque mountain views. On a community note, I really enjoy the ease of working with the local leaders. The people here really are pleasant and easy to work with.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: I get to be of service.
Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A: “The House of God,” by Samuel Shem, MD. Reader/viewer discretion is advised.
Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: Grand Cayman. I love to scuba dive. It is beautiful and very relaxing place to visit.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: Bora Bora. I love the water, and one day I want to stay in one of those rooms over the water.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: Be a good father and leader.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in the High Desert?
A: I like The Palms. Excellent Mediterranean cuisine. I also like DiNapoli’s. Their Italian is hard to beat.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Running a five-hospital system and spending as much time with my family as possible.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Fosters Freeze ice cream.