Central Peninsula Hospital officials recently announced the appointment of an interim chief executive officer to lead the hospital as its board continues a nationwide search for a permanent replacement for outgoing CEO Ryan Smith.
Lore Weimer, Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. board president, confirmed Wednesday that current Chief Operating Officer Rick Davis will take the hospital’s reins from Smith when he leaves in mid-November.
Smith recently accepted a job as the CEO of the Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas, Wyo.
Davis, who started as the hospital’s COO in early August, began his career in hospital management at Providence Alaska Medical Center in 1992. He moved to Alaska Regional Hospital in 1996 where he worked up to the position of COO.
Davis confirmed he had applied to take the CEO job permanently.
“I kind of came here as part of the transition plan in my mind,” he said. “I came with the intent of applying for the CEO position when Ryan left.”
Weimer said the search for Smith’s replacement is “on schedule” and staff expects to see a preliminary panel of candidates and have several attend on-site interviews in early December.
She said she hopes to have a new CEO named by the beginning of the year. About 150 hopefuls applied for the position.
“We hope, and have every reason to believe, that our next CEO will be among the people that we interview in November and December,” Weimer said. “But if for some reason that person isn’t, we will wait until we find the right one.”
The board is looking for someone, Weimer added, with extensive prior hospital operating experience and someone with “outstanding leadership skills and demonstrated focus and commitment to the mission and an unwavering desire to see our hospital succeed in the future.”
She said Davis would help lead the hospital through the next several months, which will likely include dealing with an ambulatory surgical center proposal from Kahtnu Ventures, LLC that could prove adverse for the hospital’s profit if approved.
“Rick has extensive hospital operating experience, so as the COO, he knows a lot about keeping our operations going, continuing to work on our successes and build on them,” she said. “He is highly qualified for that.”
Davis said he isn’t at all overwhelmed by the task of taking over for Smith.
“Nope, I’m excited by it,” he said. “(There’s) a lot of good things going on and I am anxious to continue.”