50 rural hospital CEOs to know | 2016

Mayo. Johns Hopkins. Mount Sinai. Barnes-Jewish. These massive hospitals and health systems are practically household names. That said, many Americans live in small, rural communities and rely on lesser-known hospitals for high-quality healthcare. To honor the leaders behind these remote providers, Becker's Hospital Review has named the following leaders to the 2016 edition of its 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know list.

These 50 presidents and CEOs have demonstrated dedication to providing high-quality, accessible care to their communities. Many of the executives have either received rural healthcare accolades or led their organization to a status worthy of awards and recognition.

For this list, "rural" was defined as being located outside a major metropolitan area or healthcare hub. Leaders were selected based on rural healthcare awards received, rural healthcare committee and board involvement, regional and national leadership positions held and organizational performance. Nominations were also considered.

Note: Individuals cannot pay for inclusion on this list. Names are presented in alphabetical order.

Robert Allen. CEO of Park City (Utah) Medical Center. Mr. Allen has served as CEO of Intermountain Park City Medical Center since 2008. He is also the current regional vice president of Intermountain's Park City-Heber Valley Region. Under his leadership, Park City Medical Center has achieved strong results in quality, safety and patient satisfaction, including a performance leadership award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. Before joining Intermountain, Mr. Allen served as CEO of hospitals in Wyoming, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Utah. A two-time chairman of the Wyoming Hospital Association, Mr. Allen has served on the boards of numerous chambers of commerce, foundations and other organizations.

Duke Anderson. President and CEO of Hillsdale (Mich.) Hospital. Mr. Anderson has served at the helm of Hillsdale Hospital (formerly Hillsdale Community Health Center) for the last eight years. Previously, he served as a regional public health officer and a county administrator and controller. Mr. Anderson began his hospital career in 1979, when he worked as a dietary worker at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., during his college summer break. Mr. Anderson eventually went on to become a licensed respiratory therapist as well as a licensed nursing home administrator in the State of Michigan.

Donald Babb. CEO and Executive Director of Citizens Memorial Healthcare (Bolivar, Mo.). Mr. Babb has seen CMH completely transform from a small hospital into a fully integrated healthcare delivery system since he became CEO more than three decades ago, in 1981. Back then, CMH was comprised of just three physicians and 70 employees. Today, there are 96 active physicians on the medical staff and more than 1,000 employees. Under Mr. Babb's administration, CMH became the first rural hospital to achieve HIMSS Stage 7 in 2010. More recently, CMH was the recognized by the Excellence in Missouri Foundation with the Missouri Quality Award, which recognizes organizations using the exact standards in the national Baldrige criteria.

Karen Barber, RN. CEO of Yoakum (Texas) Community Hospital. Yoakum Community Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital nestled in a community of fewer than 6,000 people, centrally located between Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio. Ms. Barber has served as the CEO since 2006, though she originally joined the hospital as a nurse in 1992. During her tenure as CEO, she has overseen the implementation of numerous quality improvement initiatives and the expansion of new hospital services. Outside of the hospital, Ms. Barber is an active member of the Yoakum Chamber of Commerce.

Darrold Bertsch. CEO of Sakakawea Medical Center (Hazen, N.D.) and Coal Country Community Health Center (Beulah, N.D.). All total, Mr. Bertsch has nearly four decades of experience in the healthcare industry and roughly two decades of experience in healthcare management. Mr. Bertsch was the administrator and CEO of Southwest Healthcare Services in Bowman, N.D., and Central Arizona Medical Center in Florence, before being named CEO of Sakakawea Medical Center in 2009. He was also contracted as the CEO of Coal Country Community Health Center in 2011. Under his leadership, Sakakawea Medical Center and Coal Country Community Health Center were named shared recipients of the National Rural Health Association's 2015 Outstanding Rural Health Organization Award.

Gary Black. President and CEO of Lenoir Memorial Hospital (Kinston, N.C.). Mr. Black served as vice president for fiscal services at Waterman Medical Center in Eustis, Fla., before joining Lenoir Memorial Hospital as CFO in 1986. He was promoted to CEO of Lenoir Memorial in 1992. In early 2015, LMH announced plans to partner with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health, plans overseen by Mr. Black. Mr. Black is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Kinston Rotary Club, Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce, Kinston Country Club and the Boys & Girls Club.

Dan Brinkman, RN. Regional CEO of the East Hawaii Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. As regional CEO of HHSC, Mr. Brinkman began running Hilo (Hawaii) Medical Center in June 2015. Previously, he was the interim regional CEO of the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation and, before that, CNO of Hilo Medical Center. Before moving to Hawaii, Mr. Brinkman was the assistant administrator of interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery at Vanderbilt University's Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Hilo achieved HIMSS Stage 7 in 2014 and was awarded the HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award in 2015.

Katherine J. Bunting, PhD, RN. CEO of Fairfield (Ill.) Memorial Hospital. Dr. Bunting joined Fairfield Memorial Hospital, a critical access hospital, in 1998. Under her administration, Fairfield was recognized by the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health and iVantage Health Analytics for overall excellence in outcomes. Before joining Fairfield, Dr. Bunting worked at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney, Ill., for nearly two decades. Dr. Bunting has been an active member of many committees and boards including the Rotary Club, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Sorority, the Illinois Long-Term Care Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is also a past president of the Illinois Hospital Association Region 5 and is president-elect of the IHA Steering Committee.

Dennis Burke. President and CEO of Good Shepherd Community Hospital (Hermiston, Ore.). Mr. Burke sits at the helm of Good Shepherd Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital with a proud history of providing quality care to its rural community since its establishment in 1954. In November 2015, Good Shepherd was recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health for overall excellence in outcomes and financial strength, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation. Mr. Burke is currently serving the American Hospital Association's Small and Rural Governing Council as an alternate. His term is not set to expire until 2018.

Charlie Button. CEO of Star Valley Medical Center (Afton, Wyo.). Mr. Button has served as CEO of Star Valley Medical Center since May 2012. Located in western Wyoming, Star Valley is a 20-bed critical access hospital. Since joining the organization, Mr. Button has overseen the acquisition of a physical therapy clinic and the expansion of SVMC's emergency medicine and surgery departments. In 2015, Mr. Button helped manage the implementation of MEDITECH's fully integrated 6.x electronic health record, including its ambulatory suite. Prior to joining Star Valley, he served as CEO of Columbia County Health System, based in Dayton, Wash.

David Clay. CEO of Sandhills Regional Medical Center (Hamlet, N.C.). Mr. Clay was tapped to lead Sandhills Regional Medical Center in December 2014 after the hospital was acquired by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems. During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Clay helped Sandhills earn The Joint Commission's Top Performer status in Key Quality Measures as well as double-digit improvements in HCAHPS scores. Previously, Mr. Clay held COO positions at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C., and Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford, N.C.

Paul Chodkowski. CEO of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center (Frisco, Colo.). Mr. Chodkowski became CEO of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, a 35-bed hospital with 200 employees, in February 2005. Under his leadership, Leapfrog Group named St. Anthony Summit Medical Center a Top Rural Hospital in 2015. Prior to accepting his current position, he was president and CEO of St. Clare's Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. Mr. Chodkowski's professional and community affiliations include serving on the Colorado Mountain College advisory board, the Frisco Chamber of Commerce board, Peak One Surgery Center's board and Breckenridge Medical Center's joint venture board.

John Dalton. President and CEO of Inland Hospital (Waterville, Maine). Mr. Dalton was appointed president and CEO of Inland Hospital — a 48-bed community facility — in January 2006. Previously, he served as a management consultant with Boston Consortium for Higher Education and, before that, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham (Mass.). During his tenure at the helm of Inland, the hospital has received many accolades, including being named a 2015 Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group and earning its eighth consecutive "A" grade from Hospital Safety Score. Mr. Dalton is involved in committees and boards for Waterville Rotary, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and Waterville Opera House, to name a few. 

Thomas Dee. President and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (Bennington). Mr. Dee was made CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care in 2009. As CEO, Mr. Dee has been working to build an organizational alignment with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Under his leadership, The Joint Commission recognized SVHC as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in 2015. Previously, Mr. Dee served as CEO of Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, N.Y., part of the integrated health system Health Alliance. He received his bachelor's in business administration and a master's in healthcare administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Desiree Einsweiler. CEO of Palo Alto County Health System (Emmetsburg, Iowa). Located in a small town of fewer than 4,000 people, PACHS is comprised of Palo Alto County Hospital, three medical clinics and numerous other services. The critical access hospital is served by five physicians, six mid-level providers and more than 20 specialists. Ms. Einsweiler became CEO of PACHS in 2012 at the age of 29. Last summer, she oversaw the implementation of Cerner's CommunityWorks clinical solution suite at the hospital and family practice clinics. Previously, she was the interim CEO of Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage, Iowa.

Sean Fadale. President and CEO of Community Memorial Hospital (Hamilton, N.Y.). Mr. Fadale was made president and CEO of Community Memorial in 2012. The hospital is located in a town of fewer than 5,000 people. Before joining Community Memorial, Mr. Fadale held hospital leadership positions at Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, N.Y.; Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill.; and Warren (Pa.) General Hospital. He earned a bachelor's in sports medicine from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., and two master's degrees — one in physical therapy and one in business administration — from Gannon University, also in Erie. Mr. Fadale is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Warren Forgey. President and CEO of Schneck Medical Center (Seymour, Ind.). Since it opened in 1911, Schneck Medical Center has grown from a 17-bed hospital to an organization with more than 100 beds, 850 employees and nearly 200 physicians. Mr. Forgery originally joined Schneck in 1992 as assistant controller. He moved through the ranks, holding positions as controller, vice president and CFO, and executive vice president and chief administrative and operations officer before assuming his current role 2015. Mr. Forgey is a certified public accountant and has a master's degree in health systems administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Jason Hawkins. President and CEO of J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital (Huntingdon, Pa.) and Fulton County Medical Center (McConnellsburg, Pa.). Mr. Hawkins had already been with FCMC, which owns and operates a critical access hospital and 67-bed nursing home facility, for roughly 20 years when he was tapped to also lead J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in 2015. J.C. Blair Memorial is a 100-bed community hospital with an active medical staff of nearly 40 physicians and more than 400 employees. Mr. Hawkins has served on the American Hospital Association's Small and Rural Governing Council representing Pennsylvania and New York regions. He is also the current treasurer of Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance. He maintains an active working relationship with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, as well as numerous local boards and community organizations.

Leonard Hernandez. CEO of Coffey Health System (Burlington, Kan.). Mr. Hernandez became CEO of Coffey Health System, which includes a 36-bed hospital with nine staff physicians and 13 outpatient specialty physicians, in September 2015. Although new to Coffey, Mr. Hernandez has racked up nearly 25 years of rural hospital leadership all over Kansas. He has also served on numerous committees and boards related to rural healthcare, including board chair of the Kansas Hospital Association including for two years. Mr. Hernandez is also a member of the American Hospital Association's Regional Policy Board 6 and the National Rural Health Association.

Jeff Hill. CEO of Steele Memorial Medical Center (Salmon, Idaho). Founded in 1950, Steele Memorial Medical Center is a critical access hospital located in a community of roughly 3,100 residents along the Salmon River, tucked in the mountains of Central Idaho. Mr. Hill became CEO of SMMC in 2010, prior to which he served as the president and CEO of the Midwest Medical Center in Galena, Ill., and the Galena-Stauss Senior Care Community. Mr. Hill is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, National Rural Health Association, and Rural Health Issues Group — an advisory group of rural hospital executives to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. He also has a longstanding history of involvement with local business and community associations.

David Keith. President and CEO of McAlester (Okla.) Regional Health Center. Mr. Keith joined MRHC as president and CEO in 2011. In the last five years, he has turned the 171-bed public trust hospital around, adding a new family medicine residency program, as well as helping the hospital achieve stroke certification from international certification body DNV GL and become an American Diabetes Association Diabetes Center of Excellence. He has also recruited physicians, expanded home health and urgent care centers and established centers for diagnostic imaging, wound care and cardiology services. Previously, Mr. Keith was the COO of Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., and assistant administrator at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Steve Massey. President and CEO of Westfields Hospital & Clinic (New Richmond, Wis.). Westfields Hospital & Clinic is a critical access hospital in a small city of roughly 8,700 located nearly 50 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Mr. Massey has led Westfields since August 2011. Under his leadership, Westfields Hospital & Clinic earned a "Green Masters" level award from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council and the Greenhealth Emerald Award from Practice Greenhealth for its comprehensive sustainability program. Additionally, the primary care clinic at Westfields was recognized by the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin as an early adopter of a statewide childhood reading program. Prior to joining Westfields, Mr. Massey served as CFO at Osceola (Wis.) Medical Center.

Patrick O'Donnell. President and CEO of Summit Health (Chambersburg, Pa.). Mr. O'Donnell was named CEO of Summit Health in 2013. Mr. O'Donnell has been with the organization since 1985 when he was controller of Chambersburg Hospital. Since taking over as CEO, Mr. O'Donnell expanded its urgent care and breast care services, opened a $15 million medical building for specialty services, supported the opening of a new neonatal intensive care unit, increased the number of patient care personnel, and considerably improved the system's LeapFrog Group safety score. Mr. O'Donnell is currently serving the American Hospital Association's Small and Rural Governing Council as an alternate. His term will expire in 2017.

Vince Oliver. CEO of Island Hospital (Anacortes, Wash.). Mr. Oliver became CEO of Island Hospital in May 2000. In his first three years at the helm, he turned the hospital's financial wellness around, from a $2 million loss in 2000 to a more than $10 million net revenue. Since then, he has collaborated with multiple stakeholders to launch programs for sleep wellness, wound care, cancer care and mental health. In 2015, the American Hospital Association recognized Mr. Oliver with the Rural Hospital Leadership Award for his "collaborative leadership and strong community roots." Mr. Oliver is a retired commander from the U.S. Naval Reserve. He served 22 years as a surface warfare officer.

Anne Platt. CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital (Jackson, Calif.). Born in Switzerland where her dad was an American diplomat, Ms. Platt moved to the U.S. when she was four years old. Although she studied art history in school, Ms. Platt eventually found her way to finance and then healthcare, which inspired her to get her master's in healthcare management from Regis University in Denver. She served as CEO of Doctor's Hospital and East Morgan County Hospital in Brush, Colo., as well as a few other positions, before being made CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital, a 50-bed hospital, in 2011.

Amy Pollard, BSN, RN. President and CEO of Noyes Health (Dansville, N.Y.). Ms. Pollard joined Noyes Health, a nonprofit system with a 67-bed hospital situated roughly 300 miles northwest of New York City, as president and CEO in 2011. Under her leadership, the once financially stressed system has returned to stable ground, and as of Jan. 1, affiliated with University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center. Prior to her current role, Ms. Pollard served as interim president of Noyes, and before that, as vice president of patient care services.

Jayne Pope, RN. CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital (Fredericksburg, Texas). Ms. Pope has helmed Hill Country Memorial Hospital, which is about 100 miles west of Austin, since 2013. Under her leadership, the hospital won the 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest award given annually by the White House for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and leadership. Prior to her current role, Ms. Pope was CNO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mary Ellen Pratt. CEO of St. James Parish Hospital (Lutcher, La.). Ms. Pratt holds the position of CEO of St. James Parish Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital located about 45 miles south of Baton Rouge, La., and 45 miles northwest of New Orleans. Under her leadership, the hospital received the iVantage Performance Leadership Award 2015 for excellence in patient perspectives. Ms. Pratt is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the National Rural Health Association, and she chairs the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals governing council.

Denise Ray, BSN, RN. President and CEO of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital (Jasper, Ga.). Since 2012, Ms. Ray has led Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 52-bed hospital located more than 60 miles north of Atlanta. In addition to her role as CEO, Ms. Ray serves in an expanded role for Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare as the system's chief nursing executive. In that expanded role, her responsibilities include collaborating with Piedmont Healthcare's front-line nursing teams to redesign the system's patient care model. She previously was COO of Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. Ms. Ray earned an MBA from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn.

Steven Rose, MSN, RN. President and CEO of Nanticoke Health Services (Seaford, Del.). Mr. Rose leads a system comprised of a 99-bed rural, community hospital and the Nanticoke Physician Network. Under his leadership, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, located approximately 40 miles south of Dover, Del., invested in a new EMR and obtained meaningful use stage 2. Mr. Rose is past chairman of the Southern Delaware Chapter of the American Heart and Stroke Association Board.

Ed Rush. President and CEO of Iredell Health System (Statesville, N.C.). Since 2004, Mr. Rush has been at the head of Iredell Health System, which includes a 247-bed hospital located roughly 40 miles north of Charlotte, N.C. Prior to joining Iredell Health Systems, Mr. Rush spent 19 years at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C. There, he was CFO for three years, as well as COO for 16 years. Mr. Rush earned a master's degree in accounting from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Maria Ryan, PhD, MSN. CEO of Cottage Hospital (Woodsville, N.H.). A board-certified family nurse practitioner, Dr. Ryan has worked in for-profit, nonprofit, tertiary care and most recently at Cottage Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital located approximately 30 miles east of Montpelier, Vt. During her tenure at Cottage Hospital, the facility was the only hospital in New Hampshire, and one of eight in the country, to successfully attest to meaningful use stage 2 in the first qualifying period. Prior to becoming CEO, Dr. Ryan was Cottage Hospital's CNO and COO.

Robert Schmitt. CEO of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services (Gibson City, Ill.). Mr. Schmitt has been CEO of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, a critical access hospital situated approximately 30 miles north of Champaign, Ill., since 2007. Prior to that, he served as the hospital's CFO. Mr. Schmitt, a certified public accountant, earned an MBA from Webster University on their Fayetteville, Ark., campus. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Larry Schroeder. CEO of Sauk Prairie Healthcare (Prairie Du Sac, Wis.). Mr. Schroeder serves as CEO of Sauk Prairie Healthcare, located about 100 miles west of Milwaukee. Under his leadership, Sauk Prairie Healthcare's hospital and outpatient clinics were named 2015 Guardian of Excellence Award winners by Press Ganey Associates. Also in 2015, the system received a five-star rating from CMS for patient experience. Before taking on his current CEO role, Mr. Schroeder served as COO.

Rachelle H. Schultz. President and CEO of Winona (Minn.) Health. Ms. Schultz has worked in healthcare management for more than two decades. She currently oversees a system that includes a 99-bed acute care hospital, physician clinics, a nursing home and other care sites. Ms. Schultz earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She is the chair-elect of the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals governing council.

Emmett C. Schuster. President and CEO of Gibson General Hospital (Princeton, Ind.). Mr. Schuster has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare executive management. He currently leads Gibson General Hospital, a critical access hospital approximately 150 miles southwest of Indianapolis. Prior to joining Gibson, he was interim CEO of Weiser (Idaho) Memorial Hospital. Outside of healthcare, Mr. Schuster served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years in active and reserve duty. He retired in 2009 as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. Mr. Schuster earned a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Dennis Shelby. CEO of Wilson Medical Center (Neodesha, Kan.). Mr. Shelby has more than three decades of executive leadership experience working in both the for-profit and nonprofit healthcare sectors. He has been at the helm of Wilson Medical Center, a hospital located roughly 150 miles southwest of Kansas City, Kan., since 2011. Under his leadership, the hospital has added a spine clinic, an orthopedic clinic, an ideal weight and wellness program, a diabetic and nutrition management center and digital mammography to the service lines. WMC also opened a family rural health clinic in Independence, Kan.

Ken A. Shull. CEO and Administrator of St. Luke's Hospital (Columbus, N.C.). Mr. Shull holds the reins of St. Luke's Hospital, a critical access hospital situated about 100 miles west of Charlotte, N.C. Prior to St. Luke's Hospital, he was CEO of Highlands (N.C.)-Cashiers Hospital. He has also held CEO positions at Lexington Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.; Stanly Memorial Hospital in Albemarle, N.C.; and Cannon Memorial Hospital in Pickens, S.C. Mr. Shull is also former president of the South Carolina Hospital Association and a former captain in the U.S. Air Force.

John Solheim. CEO of Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (Crosby, Minn.). Mr. Solheim was named CEO of Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, located approximately 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis, in 2012. Prior to his current role, he was president and CEO of St. Peter's Hospital in Helena, Mont. He earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Michael Stewart. CEO of Navarro Regional Hospital (Corsicana, Texas). Mr. Stewart joined Navarro Regional as CEO in April 2014. Under his leadership, the hospital is opening a vein clinic and, beginning in January, began a partnership with Moncrief Cancer Institute, a division of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Prior to joining Navarro Regional, which is located about 60 miles outside of Dallas, he served as administrator and COO of Northwest Medical Center-Springdale (Ark.). Mr. Stewart earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of healthcare, he has military experience service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Erik Thorsen. CEO of Columbia Memorial Hospital (Astoria, Ore.). Mr. Thorsen leads Columbia Memorial Hospital, a full-service, 25-bed nonprofit critical access hospital with a Level IV trauma center located roughly 100 miles northwest of Portland, Ore. He has been CEO since January 2010. Prior to taking over as CEO, Mr. Thorsen was acting COO of Columbia Memorial. He has also served as the hospital's CFO. A certified public accountant, Mr. Thorsen earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from Marylhurst University in Portland.

Russell Tippin. CEO of Permian Regional Medical Center (Andrews, Texas). Mr. Tippin oversees Permian Regional Medical Center, which is located about 300 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas. Under his leadership, the hospital opened a new wellness and fitness center and physician clinic in early 2015. That was only the first phase of a $60 million construction project that includes building a new hospital. Last year, Permian Regional Medical Center also brought a pediatrician to Andrews with the hiring of Emad Lawendy, MD.

Joanne Urbanski, MSN, BSN. President and CEO of South Haven (Mich.) Health System. Ms. Urbanski has led South Haven Health System, a nonprofit organization based about 200 miles west of Detroit, since 2006. She previously was COO of South Haven Community Hospital. Among her accomplishments in the South Haven community is helping with the creation of a wellness center. Ms. Urbanski earned a master's degree in nursing from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

Louis Ward. CEO of Mayers Memorial Hospital District (Fall River Mills, Calif.). Mr. Ward is at the helm of Mayers, a critical access hospital located more than 200 miles north of Sacramento, Calif. Before becoming CEO, Mr. Ward held various other positions with Mayers, including interim CEO, COO and director of support services. He earned a master's degree in healthcare administration and interprofessional leadership from University of California, San Francisco.

Randy Wertz. CEO of Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (Clinton, Mo.). Mr. Wertz serves as CEO of Golden Valley Memorial, a nonprofit healthcare organization comprised of an 84-bed hospital, a home health service and physician and outpatient clinics. The system is located more than 200 miles west of St. Louis. During his tenure, the health system received the 2013 Missouri Quality Award, which recognizes healthcare organizations for excellence in quality leadership. Golden Valley is also undergoing a major facility expansion under Mr. Wertz's leadership. The first departments will begin moving into the new area in March with all departments moved in by mid-April, according to the system.

Warren West. CEO of Littleton (N.H.) Regional Healthcare. Mr. West has led Littleton Regional, a 25-bed critical access hospital located roughly 70 miles from the Canadian border, since 2007. Under his leadership, The Leapfrog Group named Littleton Regional among 24 top rural hospitals in 2015. Prior to joining Littleton Regional, Mr. West was president and CEO of Copley Health Systems in Morrisville, Vt. He earned a master's of public administration in healthcare administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. He also earned a master's degree in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J.

Bernard Wheatley, DBA. CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands). Dr. Wheatley has led Schneider Regional, the umbrella entity of The Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, The Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, for nearly three years. Previously, he was vice president of operations at Athens (Ga.) Regional Medical Center. Dr. Wheatley earned a master's degree in business and healthcare administration from New York Institute of Technology in New York City and a doctorate degree in business administration from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Ariz. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mike Wiltermood. CEO of Enloe Medical Center (Chico, Calif.). Mr. Wiltermood leads Enloe Medical Center, located less than 100 miles northwest of Sacramento, Calif. Before taking on his current role, he was interim CEO, and before that, COO. Mr. Wiltermood earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a former trustee of the Washington State Hospital Association.

Gerald Worrick. President and CEO of Ministry Door County Medical Center (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.). Mr. Worrick serves at the helm of Ministry Door County Medical Center, a 25-bed acute care hospital and outpatient medical center located less than 50 miles northeast of Green Bay, Wis. In 2013, he received the Ethics In Business Award from three Rotary Clubs of Door County. He is past chairman of the governing council for the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals. Mr. Worrick earned a master's degree in hospital and healthcare administration from Saint Louis University.

Michael Zimmerman. CEO of Sierra Vista Hospital (Truth or Consequences, N.M.). Mr. Zimmerman serves as CEO of Sierra Vista Hospital, a community-operated 15-bed critical access hospital located roughly 150 miles southwest of Albuquerque, N.M. He has been in this role since 2014. Under his leadership, the hospital built a dispensing psychologist residency programs, recruited seven new providers and established a hosted telemedicine system for expanded specialist coverage, among other accomplishments. The hospital also completed various renovations.

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