John Heer to leave hospital system in 2014

John_Heer_2126By Michaela Gibson Morris
Daily Journal

TUPELO – North Mississippi Health Services President John Heer will bow out next August after a decade of service to the hospital system.

Heer’s resignation, effective Aug. 31, 2014, wasannounced Thursday afternoon.

The search for Heer’s successor, led by board member Mickey Holliman, will begin immediately.

“After significant prayer and discussion with my wife, we have decided that now is the time to make this change,” said the 54-year-old Heer. “… This is a great organization and I will miss being a part of its success.”

Since joining the six-hospital system in May 2004, Heer led the efforts that resulted in bringing two Baldrige National Quality Awards to Tupelo, one for NMMC in 2006 and for the system in 2012.

He also restructured the corporate board and hospital leadership, improved communication to employees, physicians and the larger community and emphasized the servant leadership approach.
Robin McGraw, system board president, lauded Heer’s outstanding leadership.

“We appreciate him being proactive and giving his notice well in advance so we can begin the process to hire a new CEO and to make a smooth transition in leadership,” McGraw said.

The system president’s position will be the third major search under way for the hospital system. NMMC-Tupelo President Steve Altmiller took the top position with a three-hospital system in Longview, Texas, in June. System vice president for community hospitals Tim Moore was tapped to lead the flagship hospital, but he accepted a position as the new chief executive for the Mississippi Hospital Association last week.

“It is in the organization’s best interest to allow the new CEO to have input in the selection of the next president of NMMC-Tupelo and the NMHS vice president of community hospitals,” Heer said.

Heer and wife Pollyanna plan to take a year off to plan their next move. They have two adult daughters.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com