I grew up in a small town in the southwest part of Minnesota. My grandfather came to the United States from Norway when he was 15 and decided to take up farming. My father was raised on a farm and started a gas station business in Minnesota. My siblings and I grew up working in our family business. My dad worked hard and taught me how to treat people with respect.

That experience has shaped who I am today.

Knowing a community well, you learn that it’s important to provide good service.

During college, to pay for my tuition, I worked with Gallup doing a lot of phone interviews. I remember doing a hospital patient experience survey. I would spend my evenings talking to patients about the care they received in the hospital.

I looked forward to that because you could tell there was a strong connection between the patients and the nurses. ­Wherever they are in the country, I think hospitals are generally seen as community treasures.

Terry Forde, the new president and chief executive of Adventist HealthCare. (Courtesy of Adventist HealthCare)

That impressed me.

I also did a summer internship at a hospital in Kansas City and became certain that health care was a field I wanted to pursue.

My wife and I got married after graduation. She was also in health care as a nurse. I began working for a Seventh Day Adventist medical center. The connection between our church and our faith around health-care organizations was a strong alignment for me.

I began working in the accounting area — understanding how hospitals got paid and the economics of the health-care environment. It was fascinating.

I helped improve the way our financial statements read and led a couple of important projects. I was always willing to take on tough challenges and never shied away from hard work.

Eventually, I became chief ­financial officer at a small hospital. Early on, I had a chance to work hard to raise philanthropy dollars and get a bond placement completed to achieve an expansion.

In the course of 2003 to 2011, I became chief financial officer before becoming president of a hospital.

I started at Adventist HealthCare in 2011 in June. As chief operating officer, I was responsible for the growth of outpatient services here in Maryland.

I’ve enjoyed my role. It’s a great market and community to work in. We have ambitious plans to grow here, including opening up new urgent-care sites and expanding rehab services.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

Terry Forde

President and chief executive of Adventist HealthCare, a Gaithersburg provider of health-care services.

Career highlights: Chief operating officer and executive vice president, Adventist HealthCare; chief executive officer,

Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, Colo.; chief financial officer and chief operating officer, Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver; chief financial officer, Truman Medical Center East in Kansas City.

Age: 43

Education: BS, business administration, Union College; MBA, MidAmerica Nazarene University.

Personal: Lives in Silver Spring with wife, Marijane. They have three children.