Mason appointed VDMC CEO

The Van Diest Medical Center board of trustees appointed a new chief operating officer Wednesday morning and began the process of restructuring the board following the resignation of three trustees.

Robert Mason, who served as the interim CEO, was named the new CEO. He succeeds Palmer Schneider, longtime administrator, who stepped down in November. He had served as administrator since 2003.

Mason will be an employee of Mercy Network, based on a provision of the new management contract between Mercy and Van Diest Medical Center which was signed last fall.

Mason comes to VDMC from Mercy Clinical Laboratory where he spent the past two years serving as liaison between MCL outreach clinics, network hospitals and nursing homes, promoting laboratory services and expanding the outreach program. Prior to joining MCL, Mason spent 11 years as president and CEO of Genesis Enterprises, providing consulting services and filling clinic and hospital administrator assignments on a contractual basis. Mason also spent more than 12 years serving as director and vice president of Mercy Family Care Network at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa.

On March 22, following the interviews with candidates for the CEO position, Don Bottorff, Stephen Mourlam and John Hemingway submitted letters of resignations from their trustee positions. Bottorff had served as the board chairman until his resignation.

In his letter of resignation which he provided to the Daily Freeman-Journal, Mourlam told the board, “In these times of change, I do not feel I have the time to devote to the issues at hand or a clear vision of the future of Van Diest Medical Center.”

Mourlam went on to say he had been involved with the hospital for almost 35 years.

“I hope that my resignation will allow the board to be less fragmented and will be able to work together with physicians, the staff and community,” Mourlam wrote.

Bottorff and Hemingway’s letters of resignation were not immediately available.

Carroll Ose was appointed chairman of the board and the new slate of officers include Myra Maxon, vice chair, Henry Witt, treasurer, and Nancy Dermand, secretary. The officers will serve as through the end of 2013.

Ose thanked Bottorff, Hemingway and Mourlam for their years of service to the board.

“We all know Don, Steve and John and the advice and guidance they have brought to the board – especially for me – has been invaluable,” he said. “This is in response to our management change and management transition.”

Ose said the board has the option of appointing three new board members to fill the vacancies.

“We have a nominating committee and we’ll address that at our April meeting,” he said.