MCMC approves interim CEO
SLAYTON — The Murray County Medical Center (MCMC) Hospital Board unanimously passed a motion to approve a contract for a new interim CEO to John Osse, upon review of legal advisors and completion of a background check, during a Wednesday meeting at the Murray County Commissioner Room.
Osse is a resident of Casper, Wyo., and has more than 20 years of experience as both an interim CEO and a permanent administrator for numerous hospitals all over the country.
MCMC Board Chairman Robert Moline began the meeting by thanking the public for attending the Tuesday night community meeting.
“I just want to thank the community for coming out. We had a great turn out, and I believe we had a very civil discussion. ... We took notes, and we’re listening,” he said.
Osse was present at the Wednesday morning meeting to discuss his past work experience and answer questions from the board.
“I’ve been in this business a long time, and I say if you don’t like change then stay out of the hospital business,” Osse said.
Most recently, Osse has been the interim CEO for the Winner Regional Healthcare Center in Winner, S.D., which is a 25-bed hospital, 81-bed nursing home, home health and clinic managed by Sanford Health.
Osse met with MCMC staff on Tuesday to discuss what they want to see in an interim CEO, as well as some of the problems facing the hospital.
“I’m aware of the controversy facing the hospital. … I want to make it clear to everybody that my focus will be, first and foremost, the hospital,” Osse explained. “What I mean is, my goal will be by accepting the offer my position will be you’re entitled to your opinion, but when you walk into the hospital, the focus has to be the patient.”
Osse also addressed the question: Who brought him to MCMC?
“I am an independent contractor. I was suggested by Sanford, but I don’t work for Sanford, I have never worked for Sanford, and Sanford has never paid me,” Osse said.
“As far as the issues with management companies, that will have to be sorted out later,” he added.
The board then questioned Osse about how he would handle the problems facing the hospital.
Commissioner Gerald Magnus asked, “In your previous jobs, about how long does it take for you to hold the interim spot?”
“Typically, I don’t work longer than a year, for several reasons,” Osse responded.“One is because of the stress — as interim CEO, I jump right into the fire. You’re not there when it starts, you go in with both feet,” Osse said.
“I’m going to tell you that this process will not be done in a year, but my goal is to get it enough that we can address as many issues and start a healing process so that the next person that comes in can carry on,” he added.
When asked when Osse could start as interim CEO, he projected that he would be able to start by next week.
Commissioner Gerald Magnus said there are other candidates for the position, but they wouldn’t be available for another 30 days.
“I don’t think we have 30 days,” Magnus said. “We need to strongly consider this candidate.”
Osse said he would likely not be available in 30 days.
Osse also stated to the board that he would help with the promised employee surveys, as well as issuing patient surveys.
“If there is a system in place in issuing these surveys, we’ll do that, and if there isn’t, we’ll make one,” he said.
After listening to Osse’s comments, citizens who have been critical of the hospital and the board had positive things to say.
Trish Grieme, a former MCMC employee and the person behind the “Taking Back MCMC” Facebook page, said she felt Osse acted fair and was pleased to hear he talked to everyone.
“I think someone who is coming in willing to listen to everybody across the board is going to make a difference,” she said.
To conclude the meeting, Moline said MCMC bylaws state there can be up to nine members on the board, and they are looking at adding additional board members. Anyone interested can speak to a commissioner or write a letter to the Murray County nominating committee.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.