New CEO already hard at work at TMH | CraigDailyPress.com

New CEO already hard at work at TMH

For the first time in nearly 30 years the hospital board has directly hired a new CEO

MRH CEO Andy Daniels

— This is the first week on the job for Andrew Daniels, the new CEO of The Memorial Hospital at Craig, who started work Monday.

Quality health care for rural areas and the lifestyle afforded in small towns were key reasons why Daniels accepted the position.

"Quality heath care in rural America is important. The people here are phenomenal and I thought that I could help. That's what attracted me," he said. "The hospital has great potential. I can't ask for a better group of people to work with."

In early 2016, TMH Board of Trustees decided not to renew their management agreement with Quorum Health Resources, the company that has recruited and hired hospital management since 1987.

"Quorum specialized in small rural hospitals. At one time they were very good. They were purchased by HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) and turned into a for-profit company. That changed things," Daniels said. "The board did a cost-benefit analysis and the board chose to save a significant amount of money (by not renewing a contract with Quorum)."

Quorum was only responsible for recruiting and hiring CEO and chief financial officer positions. The people in those positions still reported to the board and still lived in the community, according to Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of marketing. Therefore the transition from Quorum management does not impact TMH operating systems, billing or services.

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As the first CEO hired by the board in a generation, Daniels has big goals for the hospital.

"I work for the board and will develop, with the board, a strategic plan for growth, additional services for our rural community and physician recruitment. But, all that depends upon the board, as that's who I work for, at the end of the day," Daniels said.

The vision of the hospital is to "be the hospital of choice for patients, physicians and employees," according to the TMH website. The statement is something Daniels aspires to achieve.

"That's what I hope to move on. It's great and makes this place very unique. We have to have the services that the community needs," he said.

Moving TMH forward is not the only move that Daniels and his family are making. The family had been living in Galion, Ohio where he was the vice president and chief operating officer at Avita Health System and vice president of non-clinical operations and information systems at Galion Community Hospital from 2006 to 2016.

"We are purchasing a home in Craig and should all be here in about a month," Daniels said.

His wife Elizabeth, his daughter Rebekah, who will be starting the 10th grade and has enrolled at Moffat County High School, his 80-year-old father, Joe, four dogs and a cat will join Daniels.

"The community is also going to enjoy his wife, Liz. She has an energetic, witty personality and is fun to be around. Andy and Liz will be great additions to the community," Forrest Luke, TMH Board of Trustees chairman, said in a press release issued by the hospital on Aug. 5.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.