Aberdeen, WA – Friday Mike Melville, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Grays Harbor Community Hospital, announced that President & CEO John W. Mitchell has resigned his position, effective December 31, 2009. John and his wife Paula are permanently relocating to Colorado due to a family obligation that can no longer be effectively managed from out of state.
Mitchell arrived in June of 2005 to take the helm of the financially struggling community hospital. “Without a doubt, John Mitchell transformed our hospital” said Melville. “Through his inspirational leadership, he made all of us – employees, Medical Staff, Board of Directors – believe we could achieve national levels of quality, safety and patient satisfaction that, quite frankly, our community never thought could be gained.”
Mitchell’s approach to management – stressing, what he calls, “Servant Leadership” and workplace culture had a noticeable impact at the hospital.
“My belief was that if we focused on making GHCH a great place to work and take care of patients, everything else (quality, safety and finances) would positively follow”, explained Mitchell. The results have been impressive. According to Melville, “our hospital went from losing $1 million in one month to netting $1 million in one month – several times now.” He also cites the change in the community’s perception of the hospital: “another large measure of our success, not to mention an extremely satisfying one, was earning HealthGrade’s Patient Experience award in 2009.” The HealthGrades award is given only to those hospitals in the top 15% in the nation for patient satisfaction. “Our patients honored us with the award; but it was John’s leadership and our employee’s focus on culture and quality that won it.”
Mitchell said that a family obligation which could no longer be effectively managed from out of state was the impetus for leaving. “This is the best job I have ever had, and I am disappointed to leave. My conviction of the hospital and community as a great place to live and work has not diminished. Quite frankly, after four years on the Harbor my belief on this count is even more profound”. He will begin the New Year as the CEO of a Centura Healthcare’s St. Anthony’s North Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
“We completely support John’s desire to put his family first. We are grateful for the time he has spent with us, the things he has taught us, and we look forward to carrying on the goals that he has helped us establish”, said Melville. He went on to state that “Fortunately for our hospital, we have a “deep bench” among our leadership group. This is evident in the recent national award designation as the Top Leadership Team in Healthcare for mid-sized hospitals in the entire country. It was not an individual award – rather it was a group effort, so we are in good shape”. The Board will begin making decisions next week at their regularly scheduled meeting about an executive search for Mitchell’s replacement.