CEO Barry Ronan: Working Toward Perfection at Western Maryland Health System

Barry Ronan has served as president and CEO of Cumberland-based Western Maryland Health System since January 2000.

Even though he took the helm at WMHS about 13 years ago, Mr. Ronan's history with the system dates back to 1996 when it was first created. He served as executive vice president and COO of WMHS starting in 1996 before being named president and CEO.

During his 17 year tenure at WMHS, Mr. Ronan has several major accomplishments of note. For instance, Mr. Ronan led the planning, construction and opening of a new medical center that opened in 2009. Also, he achieved a "no layoff" goal by reducing labor costs through attrition and re-engineering.

One of Mr. Ronan's main goals as a health system CEO is to "strive for perfection" in his system. "I want us to minimalize any medical errors and, when one occurs, to learn from it," he wrote in post on his blog, The Ronan Report. "The goal is to demonstrate a safe environment of care for our patients every hour of every day. This is achieved by having a process where caregivers must feel comfortable in discussing patient care with physicians; and if they aren't we want them to speak up," he wrote.

Outside of his commitment to safety and WMHS, Mr. Ronan is involved in Maryland's healthcare community. He is a member of the Maryland Hospital Association's Council on Legislative and Regulatory Policy, which he chaired from 2000 to 2003. He has also served as chair of the Health Policy Leadership Alliance, the political action committee of the Maryland Hospital Association.

In addition to his involvement in the healthcare community, Mr. Ronan serves on the board of several local community organizations, such as Allegany College of Maryland and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of Rotary International and past president of the Cumberland Rotary Club, as well as a founding member of The Greater Cumberland Committee.

Mr. Ronan earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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