New Hospitals New Leaders
The new second-in-command at Metro is a familiar face in
“There’s this nice balance of excitement and anxiety,” Holwerda said in a phone interview. Although he has 13 years of experience leading Pine Rest, and already knows many of Metro’s management and board personnel, Holwerda admits that the new position will be a major change.
“I’m going into the acute care field. I’ve never worked in acute care. There are a lot of transferable skills, from a management or leadership perspective. But there is a learning curve for me — getting to know the new organization, and getting to know the whole acute care side.”
Metro CEO Michael Faas is certain that Holwerda will be up to the task.
“We know we got lucky in him being interested to take on a challenge like this,” Faas said. “There is no doubt that Dan has the qualities that anyone would want in a leader.”
The addition of Holwerda to the management team will be a boost for Faas, according to Jason Manshum, Metro’s public relations supervisor. With the health system’s new Metro Health Village due to open in 18 months, that helping hand will be all the more important.
“With the village and the new hospital going up in
In that sense, Metro will become more like a typical corporation in terms of its management structure, Faas said. He looks forward to the opportunity to invest more of his time into matters that he previously has been pulled away from because of the demands of running a health system while trying to build an entirely new hospital and develop the 170 acres surrounding it.
That rationale also led Saint Mary’s Health Care to reassign COO Jim Miller the task of getting the new
“Because of the huge scope of that project — $60 million, something we’ve never attempted before, this big — (Saint Mary’s President and CEO) Phil McCorkle asked Jim if he would simply be focused on getting that job done,” said Micki Benz, the system’s vice president of development.Stepping in to take Miller’s place as COO is Keith Poisson, a hospital veteran brought to Saint Mary’s to serve in an interim capacity. Unlike Metro’s situation, the Saint Mary’s management shuffle foreshadows long-term change.
“While Keith is here, he will take over those duties — the operations management of the hospital — while Phil can focus more on the planning, fundraising, that sort of thing. But at the same time, there will be an organized search for a permanent COO with an eye toward Phil McCorkle’s successor,” Benz said.
Poisson was most recently president of
Unlike Saint Mary’s situation, the hiring of Holwerda has nothing to do with succession planning, according to Faas.
“This is building a tremendously strong, talented and diverse senior leadership team,” he said. “Every organization needs to take into consideration succession planning, but it’s really about making sure you have the right talent at the right time. That’s what this is really about.”
Meanwhile, the search for a replacement at Pine Rest has already begun, according to Tom Rosenbach, chairman of the board of directors.
“Dan did a great job for us and we’re sorry to see him go,” said Rosenbach. “I think Metro is very lucky to get him. His contributions — I can’t really measure those or put those into words.”
While the search is underway, Rosenbach is confident in the management team Holwerda is leaving behind. He said that one of them might end up as Holwerda’s replacement.
“Of course the first preference is that you always like to find someone from within, but I think we’ll do both,” he said, referring to internal and external candidate searches. “You want to find the best candidate.”
Holwerda is also confident in the Pine Rest staff’s ability to continue in his absence.
“They’re a strong team. They’re not going to miss a beat,” he said. “But that was one of the most difficult parts of this decision. I’ve been here for 23 years. It’s an outstanding management team we’ve put together. We have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. I’m going to miss them. I’m going to miss the whole staff.”