OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s CEO has resigned, the second CEO to leave the hospital since it was sold in 2010.
Phil Dionne’s resignation became effective Monday, and hospital officials have launched a search for a new leader.
“I believe it was a personal decision to move on,” said RegionalCare Hospital Partners vice president of communications Jeff Atwood.
RegionalCare Hospital Partners, the Tennesse-based corporation that specializes in operating for-profit rural hospitals, named Dionne to the post in June 2011. He had previously served as CEO of Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Ill., and has more than 30 years in hospital leadership positions.
Before Dionne took the helm, David Kreye was the hospital’s CEO, starting in summer 2010 after CEO Tom Siemers resigned shortly after the sale.
Moving forward, looking for new CEO
For now, an interim CEO is in place: Phil Noel. Noel has more than two decades of experience in leading hospitals, said the hospital board’s president, Dr. Ted Haas. For the last decade, Noel was the chief operating officer for the Baptist Health System in San Antonio, Texas.
“We’re confident that Phil Noel is going to move forward on issues that we have and not just watch us, if you will,” Haas said. “He’s here to work with us and help us with issues.”
But there is still a national search for a permanent CEO, Atwood said.
“I think as time goes on, the skills or leadership style that one looks for changes, and obviously health care is tremendously dynamic,” Haas said. “One thing we at the board level are clearly looking at is some long-term stability ... but I don’t think that means there’s a problem, it’s just reflecting all the changes going on in health care.”
Fast turnover in administration is not ideal, Atwood said, but it also won’t destroy the hospital’s day-to-day functions.