Thursday, June 28th, 2007
By William Kincaid
Current employee will head hospital
  COLDWATER - Long-time employee Jim Wermert was selected as the new CEO of Mercer Health during a Wednesday meeting of the board of governors at Mercer County Community Hospital.
After an executive session, board President Dave Wolters made a motion to accept Wermert as CEO, which was approved unanimously by board members.
Wermert - the current vice president of system operations, chief financial officer and interim CEO - will receive an annual base salary of $119,000, in addition to another $31,000 to be deferred to his retirement fund. Other provisions of the contract still need to be finalized, Wolters said.
"We're very confident in his leadership," Wolters told the paper, before pointing out Wermert has 25 years of experience at the hospital and excellent relations with the staff.
Wolters said the board has been actively searching for a new CEO since January. He said more than 80 applications from all over the country were submitted.
Wolters also said a replacement for Wermert's former position eventually will need to be found.
Wermert had been attending to his regular duties, in addition to serving as interim CEO since former CEO Terry Padden was fired in November by board members due to differences in strategic planning. Padden was killed in a car crash in Mason City, Iowa, on May 1.
Wermert of rural Coldwater has an associate of applied science, bachelor of science and a masters' of science from the University of Cincinnati. He also obtained his master of business administration from Ashland University. Since 1982 he has served as director of planning, assistant administrator, chief financial officer and vice president of system operations at the Coldwater hospital.
Wermert now will be overseeing a $3.4 million hospital expansion and renovation project. The project is planned to begin this fall and will focus on the emergency department, outpatient services and cardiac rehabilitation.
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