Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Sutter Lakeside's chief executive officer to step down

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Kelly Mather is accepting a new position with Sutter Health in which she'll promote the wellness model throughout Northern California. Courtesy photo.

 



LAKEPORT – Sutter Lakeside Hospital chief executive officer Kelly Mather says she's leaving the position for a new job in the Sutter Health organization.


Mather, who has led the hospital since 2001, will leave Sutter Lakeside Sept. 2.


“This was a very difficult decision for my family and me as my time at Sutter Lakeside has been richly rewarding,” Mather said in a statement. “Sutter Lakeside is a 'healing hospital' pioneer and I look forward to sharing its successes with other health care organizations.”


In her new job she'll be heading Sutter Health’s efforts to promote the wellness model of health care and improve community health programs throughout Northern California.


The Sutter Lakeside Board of Directors has begun the process of hiring a successor to Mather and will rely on existing local and regional leadership to oversee hospital operations while the search unfolds.


Bill Kearney, Sutter Lakeside’s Board chairman, praised Mather's efforts. “Kelly has led the hospital with passion and insight and has gained the respect and admiration of the hospital staff, physicians and the Board of Directors,” he said in a written statement.


Mather served as the chief executive officer of San Leandro Hospital from 1996 to 2001, prior to taking the helm at Sutter Lakeside.


Since 2001, the hospital's capital improvements have included expanding its Emergency Department, adding a surgical pavilion and most recently the Don Pifer Medical Imaging Service, a $10 million dollar renovation to the medical imaging department featuring the latest diagnostic technology and patient conveniences.


In addition, the hospital campus has undergone a major face lift and its Wellness Center has expanded.


Mather has focused on a “healing hospital” model that combines wellness and illness care. She's worked with a Rural Health Partnership model to better address the community health needs of Lake County, and also has helped develop several innovative community benefit programs such as the “Healthy Kids are Contagious” school site program, which provides a health and wellness curriculum to students of Lake County schools.


Sutter Lakeside reported that, under Mather's leadership, the hospital has been one of the few financially stable rural hospitals in California.


However, decreased Medicare reimbursement forced hospital leadership to seek federal assistance, resulting in Sutter Lakeside converting to a Critical Access Hospital in March. That federal designation is meant to provide increased Medicare funding to certain rural hospitals that meet specific criteria.


Mather said she's grateful to all the employees, physicians, community leaders and Lake County residents who have supported the hospital and its over the past seven years.


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