CEO leaving Mercy Hot Springs

By Wayne Bryan Originally Published November 29, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 28, 2012 at 9:36 a.m.
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— Tim Johnsen, CEO and president of Mercy Medical Center in Hot Springs, has resigned effective Dec. 7.

An announcement released Tuesday said Johnsen will become president of Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

“I’ve been extremely honored to call myself a Mercy co-worker for many years, either as a staff nurse or in leadership positions. This ministry and this mission and, most importantly, the people of Mercy are meaningful to me, and I will greatly miss being a part of its legacy,” Johnsen said. “I look forward to watching the great success that lies ahead for all of you and am deeply appreciative that I’ve been a small part of carrying out the mission.”

Johnsen began his health care career in nursing and first served Mercy as a nurse at its Springfield, Mo., hospital in the 1980s.

“As a nurse, I could affect the lives of one or two people a day,” he said in an interview with the Tri-Lakes Edition in 2010. “As an administrator, I felt I could help hundreds of people and affect patient care on a much larger level by changing a protocol or some other action.”

Johnsen came to Hot Springs as the chief operating officer at St. Joseph’s Mercy in September 2006 and took over as chief executive of the medical complex in 2007. He began to build relationships with doctors, staff and patients because he faced a challenge of bringing operating costs down.

He said the company’s heritage as a Catholic health care provider, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1888, fits in well with his own concept of health care as a ministry.

Mercy Healthcare System has signed an agreement to sell the hospital to Capella Healthcare, the parent company of National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs.

Kim Day, president of Mercy’s central region, which includes Arkansas, will serve as interim president in Hot Springs. Day will provide leadership until the planned transfer of Mercy Hot Springs to Capella is finalized.

“We regret Tim’s departure from Mercy, and are appreciative of the strong leadership he has provided over many years,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and chief executive officer. “Tim has led our ministry in Hot Springs through successes in quality and customer-satisfaction achievements, and in recent years through the challenges of an increasingly competitive health care environment.”

Johnsen has been involved with direct health care during his entire career. He attended nursing school in Missouri and first worked in the critical-care unit of St. John’s Regional Health Center in Springfield, Mo. Later he took his skills into the air as a flight nurse on helicopters. Johnsen said the experience in air ambulances provided him with a wide range of medical challenges and helped develop his skills.

Staff writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at (501) 244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline.com.

Tri-Lakes Edition Writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at 501-244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline.com.

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