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Published in Health Care
Left to right: Mark Pawlak, Patti VanDort, Dale Sowders. Left to right: Mark Pawlak, Patti VanDort, Dale Sowders. COURTESY PHOTO

Holland Hospital execs transition to new leadership positions  

BY Friday, March 18, 2022 08:01am

HOLLAND — Seeking to maintain continuity in the years ahead, Holland Hospital will elevate senior executives to new leadership positions.

Under the plan announced today, CEO Dale Sowders also will serve as vice chairman of the board of directors and focus on strategy, collaborative partnerships and financial stewardship.

Patti VanDort, Holland Hospital’s senior vice president of hospital operations, will become president, taking over those duties from Sowders. Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Pawlak will become executive vice president. The changes are effective April 1.

Sowders, who is 62 and the longest-serving hospital CEO in the region, has no plans right now to retire, although “it’s definitely coming into focus,” he said.

Making the corporate leadership changes now under a succession plan that goes back to 2018 gives Holland Hospital “continuity over time, but (with) still having some fresh eyes be incorporated into the executive level,” Sowders told MiBiz.

“We’re planning for a future,” said Sowders, who’s been Holland’s CEO for two decades and is just the seventh chief executive in the hospital’s 105-year history.

“We, as an executive team, embrace the concept that we have been given an incredible privilege to steward these roles and provide an essential resource for the community, and it’s incumbent upon us to have there be orderly planning for the future and where everywhere possible create some depth and develop leaders, including within our own office,” he said. “We’re just trying to have this be orderly so people know what to expect.”

Putting into place a succession plan helps to prevent any worries or uncertainty among hospital staff when an executive transition does occur, particularly with long-term staff, VanDort said.

“The continuity equals stability in those relationships, and those relationships really are the centerpiece of our culture,” VanDort said. “To keep that going by doing internal succession planning like we’ve done is just critical.”

Read 1941 times Last modified on Tuesday, 22 March 2022 11:24
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