The North Hawaii Community Hospital Board of Directors announces the appointment of Lowell W. Johnson as chief executive officer. Johnson is charged with turning around the hospital’s financial performance in the short term and laying the groundwork for a national search to attract a permanent CEO.
“North Hawaii Community Hospital faces many of the same challenges confronting other small community hospitals including attracting specialty care physicians, changing revenue models affected by reductions in insurance reimbursement and an ever-changing healthcare environment,” said hospital Board Chairman Bob Momsen.
“Despite the best efforts of many talented individuals, in the management teams and on the Board of Directors, over the last 17 years, the hospital has never been able to achieve a positive operating margin. So we are changing our approach and bringing in resources with dramatically more experience than any one new CEO could supply,” Momsen said.
“For more than 35 years, Lowell Johnson has led turnaround initiatives in a variety of hospitals across the nation. We believe his track record and expertise in the healthcare industry are exceptional and will prepare North Hawaii Community Hospital for the coming changes/reductions in Medicare reimbursement.”
Concurrently with Johnson’s appointment as CEO, North Hawaii Community Hospital will engage the services of the Huron Consulting Group to assist Johnson with 2013 turnaround plans.
“Our goals of working with the Huron Consulting Group are to transform business practices to eliminate the structural deficit, prepare our organization for reductions in Medicare reimbursement and develop leader and staff skills to thrive in the future,” Momsen said. “Specifically, Huron will look at the revenue cycle, supply chain management, our labor practices and our physician group practice management. Lowell Johnson and Huron have worked together seven times, successfully, over the past eight years,” said Momsen.
Most recently, Johnson served as interim president and CEO at California’s $340 million Salinas Valley Memorial Health System where, together with Huron Consulting Group, he led the organization through performance improvements totaling over $60 million.
Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Minnesota and a Masters of Business Administration, Wharton Graduate School of Finance and Commerce, University of Pennsylvania.
North Hawaii Community Hospital is a rural 33-bed acute care hospital located in Kamuela, on Hawaii Island. Nonprofit, and locally governed, the hospital opened in May 1996 and cares for Hawaii Island residents and visitors. The hospital offers services centered on patient needs, creating a healing experience for the whole person — mind, body and spirit.