October 29, 2018
Holdenville, Oklahoma, October 2018 – In early 2018, Mercy Health Systems became affiliated with Holdenville General Hospital and at the request of the local board of directors, began to seek a qualified Administrator/CEO for the leadership role of the facility. Mercy began the process of vetting potential candidates, Danny Coats, Regional VP of Operations with Mercy, Ada held the Interim CEO position and was tasked with locating a qualified CEO for the Holdenville site. Mr. Stewart was the candidate chosen to fill this role. Mr. Stewart will be employed by Mercy and leased to HGH as the administrator.
Mr. Stewart began his service as the hospital administrator on October 9th, 2018. Originally from Smith Center, Kansas, where he graduated high school, Mr. Stewart attended college and graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University. Post-graduation, Mr. Stewart taught high school physical education, health, and social studies at Tescott Kansas. While at Tescott, Mr. Stewart coached every sport the school had to offer at both junior high and high school levels. Mr. Stewart remained at Tescott for eight years until he returned to school at the University of Kansas to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare administration.
His first job as a hospital administrator was in his hometown of Smith Center. Mr. Stewart stayed at that position for four and a half years until he was promoted to VP of Regional Operations for Great Plains Health Alliance. GPHA is a management firm for small hospitals in western Kansas and Nebraska. “I thought it would be a good career move, “he said of the job change. “It was a neat job, and I grew professionally.” After twenty years at GPHA, Mr. Stewart said he began looking to return to a single facility. Mr. Stewart learned that a long time Meade District Hospital administrator Mickey Thomas was planning to retire. He applied for the position and was hired in early 2015 where he served until mid-2018, prior to joining Mercy and Holdenville General Hospital.
“I truly believe that this is where God wanted me to be,” Mr. Stewart said of his new job at HGH. “When I came and interviewed, here it’s just seemed that things fell into place. It just felt like the place to be”. “Since I’ve been here, it has reinforced that feeling,” he added. “We’ve got good people here. We’ve got great people in the town and we got super staff members at the hospital. While he’s been in the healthcare industry for twenty eight years, Mr. Stewart stated that it will take some time to get fully acquainted with the people and functions of Holdenville General Hospital.
“For 20 years, I have worked with multiple hospital boards, medical staffs, and hospital staffs. So, working with several issues at that same time is something I am able to do. Also, I believe that my experience as an educator allows me to present issues in a manner which individuals will understand. Health care issues often can be confusing and it’s our responsibility to make them understandable to the average person.”
“I’m learning the ropes of what goes on in Holdenville, he said. “I understand the overall operation of hospitals, I’m experienced in it. But you still have to know the day to day functions for each hospital,” He added. “So I’m telling people I’m not changing functions until I’m sure it needs to be changed. If it’s working, it doesn’t need to be changed, unless we can change it and make it better. “I am also saying to department managers, I will make you uncomfortable. Not in a bad way but moving forward. If a person is comfortable, they are probably not looking for better ways to help the patient and make them satisfied. Service excellence is important at HGH, we want our leaders to constantly be looking at Quality, Safety and Patient Satisfaction. I will be asking department mangers what they are doing to improve these items. My vision, it’s pretty simple, “Mr. Stewart said of HGH, and 3 medical clinics. “I simply want to be the best community hospital we can be. I was raised in rural Kansas, I grew up in a rural environment, I taught in rural schools and I have worked in rural healthcare from the start of my healthcare career. Rural is where I belong and where I thrive. I’m going to stick around, do the job and enjoy it,” he added.
Mr. Stewart keeps close ties with his 3 adult children. In his spare time, he competes with the Cowboy Fast Draw Association and reads for entertainment.