GREENFIELD — Last September, the Hancock Regional Hospital Board of Trustees hoped to have a successor to outgoing hospital president and CEO Bobby Keen by the end of May.
Wednesday, the board unanimously approved Steven V. Long as the hospital’s new leader effective July 31.
Long said he was looking forward to his new job for several reasons.
“First, HRH is an exceptional place,” he said. “When they say ‘expect the extraordinary,’ it is absolutely true; they are an exceptional group of people. Secondly, they have an exceptional leadership team in place. I’m looking forward to working with such a talented group of people.”
Keen will step down from the post he has held for 20 years on June 30.
Long most recently served as president and CEO of Skiff Medical Center in Newton, Iowa, an independent, 48-bed full service municipal hospital in Jasper County with an annual budget of approximately $38 million.
While there, Long developed a partnership with a medical imaging company to upgrade the hospital’s radiology department, brought the hospital’s core measure quality scores into the top 10 percent nationally and implemented a partnership to develop a regional medical laboratory serving hospitals in central and eastern Iowa.
Prior to assuming that position in 2010, Long served in a variety of leadership and administrative health care roles, including chief administrative officer of Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, vice president of Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee and CEO of Select Specialty Hospital in Davenport, Iowa.
Long graduated from the University of Iowa in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and obtained his MBA in 1994, after which he spent four years in the U.S. Air Force in a number of medical leadership assignments.
The board began its search for Keen’s replacement not long after he announced his intention to retire last Septmeber.
“A tremendous amount of time was spent on this as it should have been and was,” said hospital board chairman Jim Miller.
The board’s search committee received more than 100 applications for the position, which were vetted with the assistance of a Chicago-based personnel firm.
Additionally, the committee interviewed some 30 local residents for their input on what they envisioned the new hospital leader would be.
“A huge cross-section of the community was represented in those interviews,” said Lori Wean, HRH medical staff president. “We had full community involvement.”
Additionally, hospital physicians had two opportunities to meet and appraise Long and other final applicants.
“For a hospital this size, the selection has to be a team effort,” Wean said.
Keen took the helm as the hospital’s chief executive officer July 1, 1994, after signing on as vice president and chief operating officer in January that year.
While under Keen’s leadership the hospital forged several entrepreneur initiatives and partnerships to expand services and increase revenues.
Two of the most recent efforts include the launch of O3 PureMed, a Greenfield medical waste disposal facility that is a collaboration between Hancock Regional Hospital and Fisk Services, and the opening of Hancock Cancer Care Center.
Long’s candidacy and appointment was well received and approved unanimously at every level, Miller said.
Long was not immediately available for comment Thursday.