Search for hospital CEO to begin

The process of finding a new chief executive officer for the Van Diest Medical Center has begun, Mercy Network officials said Tuesday night at a meeting of the hospital board of trustees.

Jim FitzPatrick reported that the position had been posted last week and he planned to leave the notice posted for at least two weeks.

“It’s our hope that by mid-February we can begin to schedule visits and on-site meetings,” he said. FitzPatrick said typically the most resumes and applications are received in the first couple of weeks.

If there’s not a viable candidate pool in that period time, he said the posting would be extended an additional week or 10 days.

“We’ll come back and report at the next board meeting to see where we stand,” he said. There has been interest expressed in the position from a former Iowa hospital administrator and also the present interim CEO, Bob Mason.

“I’m confident you are going have some good candidates,” he told the board. The new CEO will be an employee of Mercy Network. FitzPatrick said the candidates would be screened and vetted, and he anticipated bringing two or three finalists for the board to choose from.

Re-elected board member Carroll Ose and new trustee Myra Maxon were given the oath of office during the meeting. Also, the trustees elected a new slate officers to govern the board.

At the December meeting, the nominating committee offered the slate of Don Bottorff for chairman, Henry Witt for vice chair, Nancy Dermand for secretary and Steve Mourlam for treasurer. At Tuesday’s meeting, nominations from the floor provided a slightly shifted slate which moved Dermand to the vice chair position and Witt to the secretary position. That slate was passed with four trustees voting in favor and three against.

Maxon said she voted no for the slate of officers because she felt the present chairman – Ose – should stay on in that role to provide continuity during the hospital’s time of transition.

Dermand asked that a change in the boards by-laws be made to place the vice chairman on the board’s executive committee. Presently, the chairman, secretary and treasurer are members of that committee.

Bottorff said if a change was to be made, he would prefer to see the past chairman on the committee for continuity reasons.

It was also noted that a review of the by-laws was overdue. The last update was approved in 2010.

Other business

Interim Administrator Bob Mason reported that progress was being made on the proposed new special care unit. At the December meeting, the board agreed to move forward with a special care unit. Mason said that two physicians would be making site visits this month with an eye toward working in the emergency department.

Dr. Mark Andrew reported that Dr. Subhash Sahai had been named the new chief of staff for 2013.

Mason said complemented the hospital staff on its response and care following the Dec. 20 multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 35. He said a debriefing on the incident was held recently with the staff and four Iowa State Patrolmen.