New Metro CFO Returns To GR Root

March 19, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — The former head of the state’s Medicaid program will join Metropolitan Health Corp. next month as its new top finance officer, returning home to where he started and has spent most of a varied career

The appointment of Bob Smedes as chief financial officer gives Metro Health a veteran of the health care industry and managed care at a time when the health system envisions moving its hospital and developing a suburban “health care village” in Wyoming.

“His knowledge and experience are exemplary and will be valuable assets to Metro as we move ahead in the ever-changing health care arena,” Metropolitan President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Faas said.

Smedes, who starts Feb. 4, will oversee the financial affairs of a health system that includes among its business operations the 238-bed Metro Hospital, 33 hospital-owned physician practices and the 31,000-member Community Care Medicaid HMO. The health system’s CFO position has been vacant since the September 2000 retirement of Bill Busch.

In returning to Grand Rapids and accepting the Metro position, Smedes said he was “particularly excited” about being involved in the health system’s vision for the health care village that includes a new $150 million hospital.

“The West Michigan area is bursting with growth, and positive changes are inevitable,” Smedes said.

Smedes served the last six years as deputy director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, where he managed the state’s $6 billion Medicaid program that covers 1.1 million disabled and low-income people and transitioned to a managed care model under his tenure. Smedes also was responsible for launching MI-CHILD, the state’s health insurance plan for children.

Prior to joining the Engler Administration in Lansing, Smedes was president of Blue Care Network HMO in western Michigan. He previously served eight years as CEO and president of Project Rehab in Grand Rapids.

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