Mineral Community Hospital welcomed interim Chief Executive Officer Steve McNeese to their team last week.
McNeese stepped in after CEO Ron Gleason resigned in June. McNeese just finished a nearly 20-year career as CEO at the hospital in Anaconda. He started his own business, CAH (which stands for “critical access hospital”) Solutions Group, and signed an eight-month contract with the hospital. McNeese and his group will work with the hospital board to help with the search process for a permanent CEO.
“We will have two main focuses. Our number-one focus is to provide quality care for our patients, and the second is to have a cohesive team which helps to accomplish our first focus area. We will provide the best patient care if we are all tugging from the same side of the rope,” he said.
He has been meeting with hospital employees, and said there were a number of them who use the words, “I love this hospital and I love this community.”
“This gives us a tremendous opportunity because we have a workforce who genuinely cares about their neighbors and gives us a lot of hope for a positive future,” McNeese said.
He has known Gleason for years. “I think the world of him, he’s a wonderful guy, and he did a great job and helped to stabilize the medical community here,” McNeese said.
CAH Solutions Group also helps to educate hospital board members about the healthcare industry — since it can be a complicated business and often people without healthcare experience sit on the board. They will also identify strengths and weaknesses of the hospital. The hospital’s board will build a profile of the community and its needs, and then solicit a hospital CEO with the skill sets needed to fulfill those needs.
This hospital is important to the area and the quality of care should be the same as anyplace else, according to McNeese, and the community should have confidence in this institution. “We want our friends and neighbors to use the hospital because we are providing the best care. We want to gain their trust and have them come here and not drive past us to Missoula,” he said.
Currently, McNeese is staying in Superior and has a small farm near Missoula, which he shares with his wife Beth, where they raise about two dozen cows. She works in the psychiatric ward of St. Patrick’s Hospital. The couple has three grown children — a son who does data analysis for an insurance company in Washington; a daughter who works as a nurse practitioner in Spokane; and a son who is a pastor at First Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho.