People Profile - Paul Torres

July 13, 2023

Paul Torres, Principal & National Practice Lead

Paul Torres is the Viridis resident expert for healthcare development and infrastructure. He has more than 27 years of experience innovating in healthcare-focused design, building, financing, operating, maintaining and decommissioning.

Paul founded the global platform and was Chairman of the Board for the Biomedical Engineering Society of North America – Industry Advisory. Most recently he was President and Chief Strategy Officer at a 14,000 employee-owned support services firm focusing on the built environment. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Texas A&M University – Biomedical Engineering and is a lifetime member of the Construction Industry Advisory Council.  Paul has delivered on billions of dollars of healthcare-related projects around the U.S.

Through his expertise, Paul has helped his clients establish state-of-the-art facilities, creating lasting impacts for their end-users. His insights into healthcare, medical engineering and technology provide innovative data-backed solutions for better performance, strategic business development and visualization.

Paul answered five questions on the latest market trends and opportunities.

What trends do you see in a market and how do you adjust for them?

Labor costs and supply-side pressures are causing a rise in price levels. What’s the danger? Overall, we have cost-push and built-in inflation going on at unsustainable levels. The reality is that this will fast-fail hospitals and systems that otherwise might have had time to respond adequately and be successful. Those factors will affect how we can effectively and efficiently treat patients. A simple example is the glaring need to fund the rising costs of essential caregiving nurses all the way to essential nonclinical support staff. These new costs are not temporary but rather represent a new norm that will cut out those facilities with insufficient capital or capital streams to sustain themselves long-term. 

To combat this, healthcare administrators must have strategies to meet their system and facility needs.  And while that sounds evident, it’s not done to the depth needed for the duration that is expected. Administrators have to faithfully look to modern, less cumbersome technology, consider more heavily outsourcing services where they are not experts, and they must have flexible capital and partnerships where none exist today.

Due to inflationary pressure, the effect is much lower operating margins in healthcare. In reality that’s not new. Healthcare has already tried to innovate for decades by doing more with less. This squeeze on resources leads to pressure on either debt service coverage and/or slowed growth.  Many of our largest and most well-run hospital systems in the U.S. lost billions of dollars in 2020 and 2021.  In addition to that, the average amount of days-of-cash-on-hand throughout our U.S. healthcare system is still less than 60 days. Healthcare must partner with more capital to lengthen the runway they have to make decisions.

What is the best advice you can give clients who are looking into Viridis’ services?

I know what it’s like to wake up each day with enormous pressures and needs and not necessarily have adequate answers for them. Then add to that the desire to be innovative and to maximize the amount of good you can do.  In those situations, I wish Viridis would have reached out to me. It would have been the equivalent of a bank and an MEP firm saying – “I believe in what you are doing and where you’re heading…I believe we can do that together. Here’s a check and a world class team. Go do more of it.”

What are the top outcomes you’re hoping to drive for clients?

I am motivated to drive outcomes for our clients like faster healing rates due to better indoor air quality, quiet places to heal, exceptionally sterile working environments and medical device innovations to improve clinical productivity. The partnerships that Viridis offers clients allow outcomes like this. It’s unique.

Viridis provides resources to help healthcare worry less about the complexities that make normal operations hard. The best outcome is for clients to be able to focus on their core mission and preparedness for challenges they could face.

What is Viridis to you?

Viridis is a lifeline for healthcare and other facilities that have suffered from limited resources to keep their infrastructure and support mechanisms up to date. For the last 25 years, so much of my personal career has been driven by finding creative solutions and flexible capital for clients where we could. But Viridis is the first initiative to offer that procurement as-a-Service. Viridis is, for many of these facilities, the best opportunity to shift their focus away from the infrastructure stresses that deter them and back to their goals of patient care and services.

Legacy is about building vision—what is your legacy you’d like to leave with your clients?

Let’s do something that you thought would be impossible and enjoy the journey. My desire is to help clients build a legacy beyond what they thought possible on their own. I’d like to partner with clients and show how they gain access to build new facilities, innovate with new devices, gather and use new data to program facilities and ensure the best healthcare outcomes possible.

Healthcare provides endless ways to show how much you care about others and Viridis is an ideal pathway to positively impact healthcare equity for the masses. I believe in the potential of people, and this is my way of helping to create a better shot for them to achieve more of it.