The Southern Mono Health Care District (SMHCD) Board of Directors last week voted to appoint former CEO Gary Myers to take over as Interim CEO of Mammoth Hospital. Myers will fill in for CEO Gary Boyd, who is on medical leave recovering from a stroke he suffered on Nov. 4.
Myers started work on Friday, Nov. 16. He previously served as CEO from 1995 until the end of 2007. Boyd took over as new CEO in the spring of 2008 and has served in that capacity since.
“I have a vested interest in the hospital and the community,” Myers said, when asked why he opted to retake the arduous job. “I hope [Boyd’s] absence is short term, but it seemed sensible for the Board to ask and for me to accept.”
Myers pointed out that he is still very familiar with the hospital, community, management team and day-to-day operations.
“I also have housing and a four-wheel drive … Mammoth essentials,” Myers quipped.
He had never met Boyd previous to 2008, but has since come to know him in an administrative capacity. Myers is also a staff physical therapist at Mammoth Hospital, though those duties are on hold while he is CEO. With a Masters in PT from Stanford, Myers has practiced as a therapist for 16 years, and was a small business owner of his own private practice.
Boyd’s condition is said to be improving, though there are no specific details as to his prognosis. Still, Myers said he is willing to continue as CEO as long as needed. He started out his administrative career on the SMHCD Board in the early 1990s, and served during the transition out of the Hospital’s 10-year lease with Centinella, which terminated in 1994. “I had a good sense of the hospital at that point,” he noted.
After he resigned from the Board, he was informed that the hospital was searching for a new administrator. “I was lucky enough to be selected.”
Does Myers have plans of his own to implement while he’s CEO? “Right now, I envision it as a short-term proposition, providing substitute, pinch-hitting expertise,” he replied. “We have a team of general surgeons joining the staff early next year, which needs a lot of care and feeding, and preparation. We have a Master Facilities Plan in the works and there are schematics for that coming out that will need to be reviewed. We have physician renewal agreements coming up, a number of IT projects, including the Electronic Healthcare Records conversion, and patient safety issues. So my plate is full just shepherding [Boyd’s] to-do list.
“I’ve only been on the job for a little more than 48 hours and I feel like I’ve been drinking from a fire hose,” he told The Sheet Wednesday.
Myers thinks the community is blessed to have its system of healthcare and lauded the doctors and staff for their work. “We have excellent people, programs and facilities here,” he stressed. He especially gave kudos to CFO Melanie Van Winkle, who served as acting CEO until Myers was appointed. “She displayed tremendous leadership and really stepped up,” Myers enthused. “She was very sharing with information, and gave me a great briefing and orientation. I’m very grateful.”
He expressed appreciation to the Board for their trust in calling him back to the office. “I’m privileged I was asked to step in. My hope is that I can do things right and turn the hospital back over to [Boyd] in keeping with the direction he set forth. I wish him well during his recovery, and look forward to him resuming his role with the same great leadership.
“Get well soon, so I can get back to my patients, Gary,” Myers jovially added.