Rolling with the changes?


RMCHCS hires third interim CEO since Conejo’s departure

Mary Bevier took the helm as interim CEO at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services when CEO David Conejo was terminated June 11. She had been the hospital Chief Financial Officer.

She was then joined by Steve McKernan as acting CEO. McKernan had also been a CFO at UNM Hospital for almost eight years and a CEO for 21 years.

Bevier has now returned to her duties as CFO at RMCHCS and the hospital board of trustees has announced the appointment of interim CEO, Don Smithburg.

Smithburg began his work at the hospital Sept. 1 and will remain for 12 months.

A native of Albuquerque and senior healthcare executive, Smithburg comes to RMCHCS via the hospital’s new support services contract with Community Hospital Consulting, the management and consulting arm of Community Hospital Corporation of Plano, Tex.

CHC Consulting has provided consulting services to nearly 100 hospitals in the past five years.

According to an RMCHCS news release, Smithburg has over 30 years of hospital operations, strategic business development and consulting experience. He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNM Anderson School of Management and completed a Senior Policy Fellow and Management Fellowship from New York University’s National Public Health & Policy Institute.

He served as CEO of Louisiana State University Health, and led the public health system during Hurricane Katrina. He was President and CEO of the University of Texas Southwestern Hospitals and Clinics in Dallas and Executive Director of Truman Health System in Kansas City, Mo.

Additionally, Smithburg has managed hospitals and clinics ranging in size from 16 to 550 beds, including rural hospitals and rural health clinics. Smithburg has extensive experience in healthcare consulting, focusing on healthcare delivery change, governance, health policy and medical education.

Smithburg received Modern Healthcare’s “Up & Comer Award.”  He has also received the National Association of Public Hospitals “Safety Net Award,” for his commitment and service to the Safety Net Mission.

“We are extremely grateful to have Mr. Smithburg with his depth of knowledge and experience lead RMCHCS during this time of transition,” Board Chair Laura Hammons stated.

Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, who sits on the hospital’s board, told the Gallup Sun Sept. 2 that McKernan is still helping out at the hospital in an advisory capacity.

Smithburg is expected to be in place at the hospital while a search is conducted for a permanent CEO.

By Beth Blakeman
Associate Editor