Hospital president to retire

BIG RAPIDS – Sam Daugherty, president of Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital and Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, announced his retirement to hospital board members and employees late this week. He will retire on July 1, 2014.

“Sam’s exceptional leadership and wisdom skillfully guided the recent integration of these two hospitals,” said Marc A. Chircop, senior vice president, regional relationship, Spectrum Health Delivery System. “His wealth of knowledge and deep commitment to his hospitals and his communities was greatly appreciated and will be deeply missed. I would like to thank him for his service on behalf of all of us at Spectrum Health.”

With the average hospital CEO tenure being little over five years, Daugherty’s career in local health care lasted an impressive 21-plus years and speaks to his commitment and dedication.

According to Daugherty, the time is right for his retirement.

“You have to look for the right opportunity to hand off the baton, in the very best interest of the organization,” said Daugherty. “With the completion of a number of large projects and initiatives, now appears to be the right time.”

During his tenure, Daugherty led the completion of the merger of Mecosta County Medical Center into the Spectrum Health System, the opening of the new Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City, the completion of the single-patient rooms and critical care unit in Big Rapids, and combining the management teams and board of directors of both Reed City and Big Rapids hospitals.

Daugherty noted that new leadership will need to guide a number of new projects planned for the two hospitals. For example, at Reed City Hospital, there are plans for the renovation and redesign of the emergency department in 2016. At Big Rapids Hospital, there will be efforts underway to rebuild the infrastructure, which includes information technology systems, as well as physical plant upgrades that are needed.

From a personal perspective, the timing is right as well.

“All four of my kids are out of school and I’ve just turned 65. It’s a nice stepping off point,” said Daugherty.