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Title
Four Iowa Hospitals Form Regional Governing Board
Start Date
02/27/2014
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Four large medical centers in Iowa’s Mercy Health Network (MHN) have formed a new regional governing board. The Mercy Medical Centers in Sioux City, Mason City, Dubuque and Clinton have formed one board to provide governance and oversight to the medical centers, allowing greater unity in developing strategies and pursuing the “Triple Aim Goals” of better care/patient experience, lower costs and healthier communities. The four medical centers, in addition to being members of Mercy Health Network, are part of CHE Trinity Health System based in Livonia, Michigan. CHE Trinity Health is one of two sponsors of MHN, along with Catholic Health Initiatives of Englewood, Colo.

“Health care today requires regional partnerships and contracting,” said Dave Vellinga, President and CEO of Mercy Health Network, and now Regional CEO of the CHE Trinity Health Iowa Region. “This new regional board will focus on broader strategic planning issues and operations – allowing us to leverage greater size and scale to improve efficiencies, to better support the health system’s long-term goals, and to better meet the health needs of the communities we serve.”

The new regional board does not replace the local board in each medical center’s home community. Each site continues to have a board, to ensure community input and control over local health care delivery. In this new structure, the local board retains authority to oversee local operations – including quality metrics, patient satisfaction, medical staff appointments, employee relations, clinical integration and fundraising. Also, local management remains in place with the same duties and authorities, but with greater accountability to, and coordination through, the regional board.

Milton Avery of Sioux City has been named the first chair of the regional board. He said, “This new structure offers the best of both worlds – a broader, more strategic focus maximizing efficiencies across the state, combined with local oversight of local issues. An important aspect of this new governance is the regional board will be based in Iowa.”

“Our local board members and CEOs play a vital role in governance,” Vellinga said. “We will depend on our local boards to give advice and direction to the regional board on community relations, the strategic direction of the region, the hospital’s financial performance and governance appointments. Our local CEOs/Presidents will also attend the local and Regional Board meetings so we gain their perspectives on crucial issues,” he said.

The regional board is based in Iowa and comprised entirely of Iowa health care and community business leaders from each area served by the respective organizations. In addition to Avery and Vellinga, members include Sister Maurita Soukup of Cedar Rapids, Dr. Mark Niemer of Dubuque, Dr. Jim Coddington of Mason City, Marti Rodamaker of Mason City, and LaMetta Wynn of Clinton. Regional Board Officers include: Sister Corita Heid, vice chair, of Mason City, who also serves as a Health Care Trustee with CHE Trinity; Rod Schlader, treasurer, who also serves as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Iowa Region; and Marcia Smith, secretary, an attorney who serves as Regional Counsel. The number of board members will grow in the future, Vellinga said, as the organization continues to grow.

For more information, contact:
Dave Hickman, Vice President, Mercy Health Network – 515-358-8024
Dianne Krier, Mercy's Marketing Coordinator – 712-279-5682
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