50 rural hospital CEOs to know | 2015

Becker's Hospital Review is pleased to name the following leaders to the 2015 edition of its list of "50 rural hospital CEOs to know."

These 50 presidents, CEOs and administrators are dedicated to advancing healthcare in their communities and are tackling the challenges of providing healthcare in rural or small towns with vigor.

For this list, "rural" was defined as being located outside of a major metropolitan area or healthcare hub. Leaders were selected for inclusion through an editorial process where a number of factors were considered, including awards received; local, regional and national leadership positions held; and their organizations' recent performance. Nominations were also considered.

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

John Ayoub. Administrator and CEO of Melissa Memorial Hospital (Holyoke, Colo.). Mr. Ayoub has helmed Melissa Memorial Hospital, which is about 170 miles northeast of Denver, since March 2007. In that time, he has overseen the building of a replacement facility, which was completed on time and nearly $1 million under budget. The facility nearly doubled net revenues from $6.3 million to roughly $12 million. In addition to overseeing the 15-bed critical access hospital, Mr. Ayoub is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a board member of the Colorado Hospital Association and the Colorado Rural Health Center, where is he is also the immediate past president.

Duke Anderson. President and CEO of Hillsdale (Mich.) Community Health Center. Mr. Anderson has held the position of president and CEO of Hillsdale Community Health Center for about eight years. HCHC is a little more than one hour outside metro areas like Detroit, Lansing, Toledo, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo. Before joining HCHC, Mr. Anderson was a regional public health officer and a county administrator/controller. His career in hospitals started when he was a dietary worker during college summer breaks. He is a licensed respiratory therapist and a licensed nursing home administrator.

Joann Anderson. President and CEO of Southeastern Health (Lumberton, N.C.). Ms. Anderson joined Southeastern Health, a nonprofit system with a 452-bed hospital, as president and CEO in May 2007. Ms. Anderson chairs the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals. She holds a master's degree in nursing from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky., and Southeastern Health is Magnet-recognized for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Eric Barber. President and CEO of Mary Lanning Healthcare (Hastings, Neb.). Before joining Marry Lanning Healthcare, an acute-care facility with 75 physicians, Mr. Barber was CEO of Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Mo. He started his healthcare career as a certified nurses' assistant.

Paul Bengtson. CEO of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (Saint Johnsbury). Mr. Bengtson holds the reins of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, a nonprofit critical access hospital situated about 50 miles south of the Canadian border, and is also the past chair of American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals. Mr. Bengtson has served in his current position at NVRH since 1986. His hospital is the only one in Vermont designated as a Baby Friendly hospital by the United Nations.

Gary Black. President and CEO of Lenoir Memorial Hospital (Kinston, N.C.). Mr. Black has served in his current position as president and CEO of Lenoir Memorial Hospital since 1992. Prior to taking on this role, he served as vice president for fiscal services at Waterman Medical Center in Eustis, Fla. Mr. Black is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on the boards of many professional organizations and is involved in the community as well, serving on the board of the Kinston Rotary Club and the Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce, among other involvements.

Donna Boatright, RN. Administrator of Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (Sweetwater, Texas). Ms. Boatright has served as administrator of Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, located about 40 miles west of Abilene, Texas, and roughly 223 miles west of Dallas, since 2009. She started her career at the hospital as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit in 1977, just a year after the hospital first opened. Ms. Boatright managed the hospital's project to have 100 percent of patients' medical records computerized. In addition to leading Rolling Plains, Ms. Boatright is president-elect of the Texas Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is on the board of several other professional and community organizations.

Holly Bristoll. President of ProMedica Fostoria (Ohio) Community Hospital. Ms. Bristoll was appointed president of Fostoria Community Hospital in September 2013 and also serves as CEO of ProMedica Bay Park Hospital in Oregon, Ohio. Since she joined Fostoria Community Hospital, the hospital has expanded its clinical service offerings by adding a pain management clinic, a prenatal clinic and an orthopedic and rehabilitation center. Ms. Bristoll is a member of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and is on the board of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Harry Brockus. CEO of Hoopeston (Ill.) Regional Health Center. Hoopeston Regional Health Center, comprised of a 25-bed critical access hospital and five medical clinics, has been led by Mr. Brockus since November 2008. Mr. Brockus recently led the hospital, located in central Illinois, through a merger with The Carle Development Foundation, which provided operating efficiencies and improved access to specialty care. The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network recently gave HRHC an honorable mention in its "Innovation of the Year" competition.

Nicole Clapp. President and CEO of Grant Regional Health Center (Lancaster, Wis.). Ms. Clapp has served as president and CEO of Grant Regional Health Center, a critical access hospital located about 80 miles west of Madison, Wis., since April 2006. She originally joined the hospital in 1996. Under her leadership, GRHC was named to iVantage Health Analytics' list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in 2014.

Rick Davis. CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital (Soldotna, Alaska). Mr. Davis became CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital in November 2011, after becoming the COO of the hospital in July of that year. Under his leadership, CPH was the only hospital in Alaska to be named by the Joint Commission as one of the nation's top performers on key quality measures for surgical and pneumonia care in 2012. More recently, Mr. Davis received a Grassroots Champion Award from the American Hospital Association in 2014, recognizing his leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of the hospital's mission.

Kris Doody, RN. CEO of Cary Medical Center (Caribou, Maine). Ms. Doody leads Cary Medical Center, a 65-bed acute-care hospital located near the northeastern tip of Maine. She became an RN in 1983 and was eventually made manager of surgical services at the hospital. She was promoted to COO in 1994 and took her current position in 1999. In addition to being an RN, Ms. Doody also earned an MBA and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She currently serves on the board of the American Hospital Association.

Sue Downs. President of Flaget Memorial Hospital (Bardstown, Ky.). Ms. Downs, who has nearly 40 years of healthcare experience, started her career as a nurse. She now leads Flaget Memorial Hospital, a 52-bed facility that is part of Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health. Ms. Downs recently oversaw the development of a $7.8 million medical office building for the Flaget Center for Orthopedics as well as outpatient rehabilitation services and physician offices. Outside of her leadership at Flaget Memorial, Ms. Downs is active on the boards of Bardstown At Home, a nonprofit that meets the needs of senior citizens in rural communities by providing transportation to medical appointments and help with grocery shopping. Ms. Downs holds a master's degree in nursing.

Desiree Einsweiler. Administrator and CEO of Palo Alto County Health System (Emmetsburg, Iowa). Palo Alto County Health System is comprised of Palo Alto County Hospital, three medical clinics, independent senior living apartments and home care and offers long-term care and emergency services. The system is led by Ms. Einsweiler, who took the helm at PACHS in 2012 when she was just 29. She was previously the interim CEO of Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage, Iowa.

John Gallagher. CEO of Sunnyside (Wash.) Community Hospital & Clinics. Mr. Gallagher has served as CEO of Sunnyside Community Hospital, located in south central Washington, since May 2012. He helped lead a major $13.2 million dollar swing in the first year and half by growing the hospital's revenue 41 percent. The hospital has added 47 providers and opened two urgent care facilities under his leadership. Before joining SCH, Mr. Gallagher worked in healthcare management for about 20 years and has held executive positions at several organizations.

Rachel Gonzales, RN. CEO of Madison Memorial Hospital (Rexburg, Idaho). Madison Memorial Hospital is the only county-owned non-critical access hospital in Idaho, and it has been led by Ms. Gonzales since April 2012. Prior to taking the reins at Madison Memorial, Ms. Gonzales served as the hospital's CNO and COO. She has also worked in private healthcare consulting and as an online professor for graduate and doctoral institutions.

Michael Gowder, DDS. CEO of Union General Hospital (Blairsville, Ga.). Dr. Gowder became CEO of Union General in January 2013, but his career there started years earlier in 1975 when he worked as a certified nursing assistant and an emergency medical technician while he was still in high school. He earned a doctorate of dental surgery and maintained a position on UGH's medical staff until July 1999, when he became the hospital's COO. The hospital has grown and received many awards under his leadership, including being named as one of America's Best Hospitals for Patient Experience by Women's Choice Award for the last four years.

Margot Hartmann, MD, PhD. President and CEO of Nantucket (Mass.) Cottage Hospital. Dr. Hartmann has been at the helm of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, which is located on an island about 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, since 2010. She joined the hospital's medical staff in 1999 as an internist and previously co-led the hospital's emergency department. During her time as CEO, Dr. Hartmann has led the hospital through a financial turnaround, and she is now helping pursue the goal of building a new hospital.

Mark Herzog. President and CEO of Holy Family Memorial (Manitowoc, Wis.). With more than 30 years of healthcare leadership experience, Mr. Herzog has served as Holy Family Memorial's president and CEO since 2001. HFM includes an inpatient and outpatient medical center and more than 15 clinics. Prior to joining HFM, which is located about 80 miles northeast of Milwaukee, he served as COO at two hospitals in northwest Indiana for 10 years. Mr. Herzog is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is also active in many healthcare industry associations.

Jeff Hill. CEO of Steele Memorial Medical Center (Salmon, Idaho). Mr. Hill has led Steele Memorial Medical Center, an 18-bed critical access hospital and associated rural health clinic located about 250 miles from Boise, Idaho, since 2010. He has more than 25 years of healthcare experience, and before taking the helm at Steele Memorial, he served as president and CEO of Midwest Medical Center in Galena, Ill., and the Galena-Stauss Senior Care Community. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the National Rural Health Association and the Idaho Hospital Association's Legislative Policy Committee.

Loy Howard. President and CEO of Tanner Health System (Carrollton, Ga.). For two decades, Mr. Howard has led Tanner Health System, a nonprofit regional system based about 50 miles southwest of Atlanta. He has guided the hospital through a number of transactions since he became CEO in 1994, including the 1998 acquisition of Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, Ga. Since Mr. Howard joined Tanner, he has served as chairman of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, and he received the Georgia Hospital Association's Chairman Award in 2014. Prior to coming to Tanner, he served as CEO and CFO of Union (S.C.) Hospital District.

Terri Kane. Administrator and CEO of Dixie Regional Medical Center (St. George, Utah). Ms. Kane has led Intermountain Healthcare's Dixie Regional Medical Center, a 245-bed hospital located on two campuses about 120 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nev., since 2006. She joined Intermountain as a nurse in the newborn intensive care unit of McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. Ms. Kane has served in a variety of administrative roles during her time with Intermountain, including four years at the system's central offices in Salt Lake City. She has served as the president of the Neonatal Nurses National Association, on the Metropolitan Council of the American Hospital Association and as a board member for the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Thomas Keim. CEO of Ste. Genevieve (Mo.) County Memorial Hospital. Under the leadership of Mr. Keim, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, a critical access hospital located about 60 miles from St. Louis, has significantly expanded its services. Since 2007, when Mr. Keim joined Ste. Genevieve, the hospital has enhanced its primary care and women's wellness services with the addition of a 12-provider multispecialty practice. He has also strengthened the hospital's affiliation partnership with Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis. Mr. Keim received the Missouri Hospital Association 2014 Visionary Leadership Award.

David Keith. President and CEO of McAlester (Okla.) Regional Health Center. Mr. Keith has led McAlester Regional Health Center, a 171-bed public trust hospital located about 90 miles from Tulsa, Okla., since 2011. Since joining McAlester Regional Medical Center, he has led it through a strategic transformation. In his first year as CEO, he added a family medicine residency program. Mr. Keith has also established a wound and hyperbaric center at the hospital and established a cardiology service line. Prior to coming to McAlester Regional Medical Center, he served as COO of Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., and as assistant administrator at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Harold Krueger. CEO of Chadron (Neb.) Community Hospital & Health Services. Mr. Krueger has more than 40 years of healthcare management experience and has led Chadron Community Hospital & Health Services for more than 20 years. Recognized for improving healthcare delivery in his community through innovative processes, Mr. Krueger received the 2014 American Hospital Association's Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award. He is a U.S. Vietnam veteran and the founder of the Rural Health Care Association.

Laura Lambeth. CEO of Ashe Memorial Hospital (Jefferson, N.C.). Since being named CEO of Ashe Memorial Hospital in 2013, Ms. Lambeth has led the hospital through a financial turnaround that was facilitated through a strategic partnership with Novant Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. Before joining Ashe Memorial Hospital, which is located about 85 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, Ms. Lambeth served as senior vice president for physician services at Blue Ridge Healthcare in Morgantown, N.C.

Thomas Leach. Administrator and CEO of Lakeside Medical Center (Belle Glade, Fla.). Mr. Leach joined Lakeside Medical Center, a 70-bed acute-care hospital located about 65 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2012. The hospital serves as a safety-net facility to 17,000 people, which presents many challenges. Under Mr. Leach's leadership, Lakeside Medical Center has reduced readmissions to less than national and state benchmarks, and the hospital has been recognized by the National Quality Foundation for ER throughput. Mr. Leach joined Lakeside Medical Center after a 26-year career in the U.S. military.

William Mahone. CEO of Halifax Regional Medical Center (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.). Bringing 20 years of healthcare administration experience, Mr. Mahone joined Halifax Regional Medical Center, which is located about 90 miles northeast of Raleigh, N.C., in 2005. He has been instrumental in the hospital's strategic initiatives, and most recently helped guide it through a transition into a managed care partnership with Novant Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. Mr. Mahone is an advocate for the community Halifax Regional Medical Center serves, and has been a champion of several community-focused initiatives, including one focused on motivating residents to live active and healthy lives. Mr. Mahone serves on the North Carolina Hospital Association board of trustees.

Steve Massey. President and CEO of Westfields Hospital & Clinic (New Richmond, Wis.). Mr. Massey has led Westfields Hospital & Clinic, which is located about 45 miles northeast of Minneapolis, since August 2011. He is dedicated to the community the hospital serves, and he has led the hospital through a number of strategic initiatives including the joining of Westfields Hospital and New Richmond Clinic to form Westfields Hospital & Clinic. Before taking on his current role, Mr. Massey served as CFO at Osceola (Wis.) Medical Center.

Michelle McEwen. President and CEO of Speare Memorial Hospital (Plymouth, N.H.). Speare Memorial Hospital has been providing care to residents of central New Hampshire for more than 100 years. Ms. McEwen has been leading the hospital since June 2000. Under her leadership, Speare Memorial Hospital was named one of the top four critical access hospitals in New Hampshire by the National Rural Health Association in 2014.

Kim Miller. President and CEO of Beaver Dam (Wis.) Community Hospitals. Ms. Miller has led Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, a 60-bed community hospital located about 40 miles north of Madison, Wis., since 2006. Her passion for healthcare began long before she became the hospital's leader, as Ms. Miller is a nurse by training. Under her leadership, Beaver Dam Community Hospitals has added new primary care and specialty care clinics. Ms. Miller serves nationally on the board of Voluntary Hospitals of America-Upper Midwest Region.

Ron Ott. President and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital (Marshall, Mo.). Mr. Ott has been with Fitzgibbon Hospital for more than 20 years. During his time at the helm of Fitzgibbon Hospital, Mr. Ott has helped expand access to care by establishing three health clinics in nearby rural communities that are staffed by hospital professionals. He also oversaw the completion of a new hospital in the 1990s and a new medical office building in 2013. The Missouri Hospital Association gave Mr. Ott its 2013 Visionary Leadership Award.

Mary Ellen Pratt. CEO of St. James Parish Hospital (Lutcher, La.). Ms. Pratt leads 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. Ms. Pratt is the chair-elect of the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals. In 2012, she was named the River Region Chamber Leader of the Year. Last year, under her leadership, the hospital was named as a Studer Group Excellence in Patient Care Award winner.

Jayne Pope, RN. CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital (Fredericksburg, Texas). Ms. Pope was named CEO of 86-bed Hill Country Memorial Hospital in 2013, prior to which she served as CNO of the hospital. Under Ms. Pope's leadership, Hill Country Memorial, which is approximately 80 miles east of Austin, Texas, received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2014. Ms. Pope previously served as CEO of Clinic Systems and CNO and assistant vice president of nursing of St. David's Georgetown Hospital, both in Georgetown, Texas.

Chandler M. Ralph. President and CEO of Adirondack Medical Center (Saranac Lake, N.Y.). Ms. Ralph has overseen operations at 155-bed Adirondack Medical Center, approximately 50 miles southwest of Plattsburgh, N.Y., since 1995. A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Ms. Ralph also previously served on the boards of the American Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State. In 2006, Ms. Ralph received the American Hospital Association's Grassroots Champion Award for generating community activity supporting the health organization's mission.

Steven Rose, RN. President and CEO of Nanticoke Health Services (Seaford, Del.). Since 2009, Mr. Rose has served as president and CEO of Nanticoke Health Services. The 94-bed hospital is approximately 40 miles south of Dover, Del. Mr. Rose joined the board of the American Hospital Association in January 2014 and also serves as chair of an AHA Regional Policy board. In 2013, the AHA and the Delaware Healthcare Association honored Mr. Rose with the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award, recognizing him for excellence in generating grassroots and community activity in support of the hospital's mission. Mr. Rose holds a master's degree in nursing as well as a post-master's certificate in healthcare administration.

Maria Ryan, PhD, APRN. CEO of Cottage Hospital (Woodsville, N.H.). Dr. Ryan holds a doctorate degree in healthcare administration and is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with a specialty in emergency medicine. Under her leadership, 25-bed Cottage Hospital, located approximately 30 miles east of Montpelier, Vt., was one of the first hospitals in the country, and the first in New Hampshire, to attest to meaningful use stage 2 in 2014. Dr. Ryan joined Cottage Hospital in 2006 as COO and CNO and assumed her current position in 2010.

John Rossfeld. CEO of The Memorial Hospital at Craig (Colo.). In January 2014, Mr. Rossfeld was appointed interim CEO at The Memorial Hospital at Craig. He was appointed permanent CEO in July 2014. The 25-bed hospital is approximately 200 miles northwest of Denver. Before joining TMH, Mr. Rossfeld was interim CEO of Newman Regional Health in Emporia, Kan. Mr. Rossfeld holds a master's degree in hospital administration and public health from University of California, Los Angeles.

Rob Schmitt. CEO of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services (Gibson City, Ill.). Mr. Schmitt joined Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services in 2002 as CFO. Five years later, he assumed the chief executive position. GAHHS is a critical access hospital situated approximately 30 miles north of the Urbana-Champaign, Ill., region. Prior to joining GAHHS, Mr. Schmitt was CFO at Oklahoma City-based INTEGRIS Health, vice president of finance of Mercy Medical Clinics in Rogers, Ark., and CFO of Kewanee (Ill.) Hospital. Mr. Schmitt is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a certified public accountant.

Larry Schroeder. CEO of Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital (Prairie du Sac, Wis.). Mr. Schroeder joined 36-bed Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in 1998 as COO and was named CEO in 2007. In 2014, Mr. Schroeder's seven-year effort of obtaining financing for and construction of a new $68 million replacement hospital was accomplished; the new hospital opened in April. The hospital, located approximately 30 miles northwest of Madison, Wis., also opened a new medical office building in October 2014 and added a seven-physician orthopedic group and three-physician general surgical practice in 2013. Mr. Schroeder is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Emmett Schuster. President and CEO of Gibson General Hospital (Princeton, Ind.). Before joining Gibson General Hospital as president and CEO in 2007, Mr. Schuster was interim CEO at Weiser (Idaho) Memorial Hospital and served 32 years in the U.S. Army. Mr. Schuster is a member of the Indiana Hospital Association and is a CEO Circle Member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Gibson General Hospital is a critical access hospital approximately 30 miles north of Evansville, Ind.

Dennis Shelby. CEO of Wilson Medical Center (Neodesha, Kan.). During his tenure as CEO of 15-bed Wilson Medical Center, approximately 100 miles southeast of Wichita, Kan., Mr. Shelby has added a spine clinic, orthopedic clinic, ideal weight and wellness program, diabetic and nutrition management center and digital mammography to the hospital's service lines. Mr. Shelby has held the chief executive position since July 2011. In 2013, he received the Inspiring Administrator Summit Award at the Healthcare Service Excellence Conference recognizing him for excellence in quality care for patients, quality of work life and high performance of individuals in the organization.

John Solheim. CEO of Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (Crosby, Minn.). Mr. Solheim has held the chief executive position at 142-bed Cuyuna Regional Medical Center since 2012, overseeing the leadership, operational and financial management of a critical access hospital, three outpatient clinics and a senior living community. The hospital is approximately 100 miles southwest of Duluth, Minn. Mr. Solheim's 32-year career in healthcare administration includes positions at four facilities in Montana and Minnesota. Mr. Solheim is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the Minnesota Hospital Association Board.

Susan Starling. President and CEO of Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital (Irvine, Ky.). Ms. Starling served as COO of Marcum & Wallace Hospital from 1991 to 2001 before being named president and CEO of the 25-bed hospital located approximately 50 miles southeast of Lexington, Ky. In 2012, Ms. Starling received the Kentucky Rural Health Association's Dan Martin Award for dedication to rural healthcare in the state, and in 2013 she received the American Hospital Association's Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award recognizing the accomplishments of small or rural hospital leaders.

Paul Stewart, President and CEO of Sky Lakes Medical Center (Klamath Falls, Ore.). Mr. Stewart joined Sky Lakes Medical Center, formerly Merle West Medical Center, in 1986 as director of clinical services. He was named CEO of the 176-bed hospital located approximately 70 miles east of Medford, Ore., in 1992. Local newspaper Herald & News named Mr. Stewart Person of the Year in 2014. Mr. Stewart is the past chair and a board member of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

Philip Stuart. CEO of Tomah (Wis.) Memorial Hospital. Mr. Stuart has been CEO of Tomah Memorial Hospital since 1995, a critical access hospital located approximately 100 miles northwest of Madison, Wis. Mr. Stuart also served two terms as president of the Wisconsin Hospital Association's western region. In 2013, Tomah Memorial Hospital was named among the top 20 critical access hospitals by the National Rural Health Association and was named among the top 100 critical access hospitals by iVantage Health Analytics.

Paul Taylor, JD. CEO of Ozark Community Hospital (Springfield, Mo.). Mr. Taylor's unorthodox journey to the helm of 45-bed Ozark Community Hospital began with his degree in English literature from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and his master's degree in literature from University of Missouri at Columbia. He started coursework for a doctorate in literature and switched courses midway to enter law school. In 1987, Mr. Taylor began practicing private law. He was named CEO of Ozark Community Hospital in 2000. The hospital is approximately 160 miles southeast of Kansas City, Mo.

Larry Veitz. CEO of Spearfish (S.D.) Regional Hospital. Forty-bed Spearfish Regional Hospital is approximately 50 miles northwest of Rapid City, S.D. Mr. Veitz has been CEO of the hospital since 2002. He currently sits on the board of the American Hospital Association — only the second South Dakotan hospital administrator to serve on the board — as well as the advisory board of Black Hills State University School of Business in Spearfish. Mr. Veitz has also served as a board member and chairman of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations.

Stephen Wolfe. President and CEO of Indiana (Pa.) Regional Medical Center. For more than 15 years, Mr. Wolfe has led Indiana Regional Medical Center. The 164-bed hospital is approximately 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. Mr. Wolfe helped develop the Pennsylvania Mountain Healthcare Alliance, a network of 12 rural hospitals supporting and enhancing each other's ability to provide quality care and maintain their status as independent community hospitals. Mr. Wolfe also periodically contributes a wellness column in local newspaper The Indiana Gazette and serves on the board for the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council.

Rand Wortman. President and CEO of Kadlec Regional Medical Center (Richland, Wash.). In addition to his chief executive role at 251-bed Kadlec Regional Medical Center, approximately 145 miles southwest of Spokane, Wash., Mr. Wortman also is CEO of other Kadlec-affiliated organizations, including the Kadlec Neurological Resource Center and the Kadlec Foundation. He joined Kadlec in November 2000. Under Mr. Wortman's leadership, Kadlec established the first accredited chest pain center in the Northwest, developed an online physician portal and became the first community hospital in Washington state to create a rapid assessment team.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Laura Lambeth joined Ashe Memorial Hospital in 2007 as CEO. She actually became CEO in 2013. Also, an earlier version of this list incorrectly stated Paul Stewart was named person of the year in 2013. He received that honor in 2014.

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