There's a "Bosnian Connection" at Lehigh Regional Medical Center and workers and staff have called it as in the old clich, "It's a small world."
The hospital's new chief financial officer and a new doctor who practices next door and is on the staff of LRMC are both from Bosnia, but neither one knew about the other until they met at the hospital in Lehigh.
Bosnia is a country in southeastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Sarajevo with an estimated urban population of nearly a half million people.
Two professionals in the health field have joined the staff at Lehigh Regional Medical Center. At left is the hospital’s new CFO, Osman Gruhonjic, and at right is a new physician who specializes in cardiology, Dr. Haris Turalic. They are both from Bosnia, but didn’t realize it until a friend told one that another member of the staff was from the same country.
That is where Osman Gruhonjic, the hospital's new chief financial officer was born.
And a drive of 2 hours away in Bijeljina, Bosnia, is where LRMC's newest doctor and cardiologist, Dr. Haris Turalic was born.
"But we never met each other in Bosnia. It wasn't until someone told me that a new doctor here was also from Bosnia," said CFO Osman Gruhonjic.
"So we got to meet and it was interesting that we were from the same country and both had moved to the United State and studied in college and ended up in the health field and both ended up in Lehigh Acres," Gruhonjic said.
Both live with a few miles of one another here one lives in Gateway off of Daniels Parkway, and the other lives in a development on Treeline Avenue, also off Daniels Parkway, just a few minutes from Lehigh.
Dr. Haris Turalic said he moved to Lehigh for the opportunity to practice in a small hospital in a smaller community.
"I really like Lehigh," he said. His office is located in the adjacent medical complex in Suite 1400 where he specialists as a cardiologist. He moved here from Fishersville, Va., where he has practiced medicine since July of 2010.
Gruhonjic as the new CFO has worked in healthcare finance since 2001, most recently with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) at the Frankford Regional Medical Center in Frankford, KY., as CFO.
"We are very happy to have Osman and Dr. Turalic at LRMC," said Joanie Jeanette, the hospital's CEO. "With the challenges facing healthcare providers, having someone with their experience and expertise is essential, and we are very fortunate that they both has joined our team."
Dr. Turalic said he came to the U.S. as a refugee and lived in Spokane, Washington.
"I had the opportunity to come to Lehigh and I like Florida without the snow like up north. I like it here very much and am enjoying my practice," he said.
"I know one thing, Mr. Gruhonjic and I will have a lot to talk about as we get to know each other better," Turalic said.
Gruhonjic comes well qualified with titles behind his name including CPA, FHFMA, MHA, and FACHE. He has been a healthcare executive with 12 years of experience in finance, accounting and related hospital operations.
Areas of expertise that he brings to LRMC include strategic planning, budgeting and financial analysis, coupled with superior technical competence and extensive experience in implementation of electronic health records and numerous additional financial system programs.
He is also pursuing his doctoral degree in health administration at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona, and expects to be awarded his Ph.D. in 2014.
Dr. Turalic comes with equal expertise in his field as a non-invasive cardiologist.
He has been associated with all aspects of non-invasive cardiology, including inpatient care with concentrations in ER, CCU, ICU and telemetry, outpatient office, and following diagnostic and invasive procedures.
He is fluent in Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian languages.
"As big as the world is, this doesn't usually happen, to have to healthcare professionals to come to Lehigh Regional. I think the two men will become friends and enjoy talking about their backgrounds in Bosnia," said Diann Cimrig, LRMC's marketing director.
"Both are well qualified and we are very happy for them to join our team."
Both men's English is exceptional. Dr. Turalic said he began learning English as a child.