Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
By Shelley Grieshop
Former hospital CEO dies
  Terry Padden, the former CEO of Mercer Health based in Coldwater, was killed in a car crash in Mason City, Iowa, on Tuesday afternoon.
Padden, 57, of Rockford, recently was hired as CEO for Regional Health Services of Howard County, Iowa, and began his duties at the healthcare consortium less than three weeks ago. He and his wife, Mary Ann, reportedly were planning to move to the area in the near future.
Officials said Padden was in the Mason City area for job training the afternoon of the single-vehicle crash and was heading toward the town of Cresco where Regional Health Services is based.
According to the report from the Mason City Police Department, Padden was traveling on U.S. Highway 65 and heading north out of the city about 4:06 p.m. when his 2001 GMC Sierra Super Cab pickup truck left the roadway and jumped a curb. The truck continued along the curb for about 350 feet before striking a guardrail and slamming into a concrete bridge, explained Mason City Police Sgt. Greg Scott.
"The vehicle came to rest on its side," he added.
Padden, who was alone in the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Scott said the accident remains under investigation but officers believe driver inattention may have been the cause.
Mercer Health Interim CEO Jim Wermert told The Daily Standard on Wednesday that he and others at the Coldwater facility were shocked and saddened by the tragic news. He offered his prayers and sympathy to Padden's family.
"Terry had a lot of friends here at the hospital and all around the area," Wermert added.
Padden served as CEO of Mercer Health, which includes Community Hospital in Coldwater, from January 2004 until late November when the board of governors voted to fire him due to a disagreement on strategic planning. A general release contract between Mercer Health and Padden continued his base salary of $130,000 through August 31 or up to an additional 30 days if he did not gain employment during that time.
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