Sean McCallister is resigning from his post as Johnson County Healthcare Center’s CEO, the facility announced on Friday.

When he was hired in March 2019, McCallister was tasked with rectifying the hospital’s dire financial situation. According to a press release, the hospital “has stabilized financially and operationally.”

“During his tenure, JCHC increased focus on quality, safety and service, provided higher wages for entry-level positions, enhanced operational efficiency, optimized Medicare cost reporting, improved billing and reimbursement, eliminated discretionary expenses, upgraded to 3D mammography, transformed its physician staffing and compensation model, created a hospitalist program, hired additional providers, stabilized emergency room coverage and progressed its master site plan,” the release said. 

McCallister has been at the helm of the hospital’s pandemic response for the past year, which included managing $3.1 million in COVID-related construction and remodel projects and preventing a COVID outbreak at Amie Holt Care Center, according to the release.

McCallister is moving to Idaho, where he’ll run an ambulatory surgery center. 

“The decision to leave is based on the need to be closer to family,” McCallister said in the release. “As our parents age and their health becomes more fragile, and as our children marry and start their own families, my wife and I need more time with them – life is simply too short.”

Dr. Mark Schueler, hospital board chairman and county health officer, said he is happy with how McCallister guided the organization through the pandemic this past year.

 

“I’ve been impressed with the work he’s done,” he said. “We’ll have our work cut out for us trying to find someone with the same capabilities.”

The Johnson County Hospital District board of trustees will begin its search for a new CEO and discuss transition plans this week. Schueler said the board typically posts the position and then reviews applications. These applicants are then narrowed to a group of three or four, he said. Those applicants will come in for interviews and to meet the board and staff.  

This process takes roughly two to three months, Schueler said.

McCallister told the Bulletin that his predecessor will come into two projects immediately: the transition of electronic medical records and the master site facility plan. Other priorities for the organization include “building a better retirement plan as a top employer in Johnson County” and “competing more strategically and fiercely in our local market,” he said. 

“The most immediate concern is making sure there’s a smooth transition and that the board and the facility can recruit the right fit,” McCallister said. “I think longevity is critical. I’ve only been here a little more than two years, and a lot of turnover takes a toll on the team and the community.”

He said it will be important to keep up momentum for upcoming projects when he leaves.

“This is a resilient team, the hospital board is excellent, and it’s a great community,” McCallister said. “We’re in a very stable situation right now, so we’re still poised for success.”

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