Mills confirmed as Community CEO-WEB ONLY

It’s official: Community Health Network has selected Bryan Mills as its next CEO.

James Morey, chairman of the board of the hospital chain, sent a memo to Community staff today announcing Mills’ selection.

IBJ first reported on Friday that Mills was the choice to replace Bill Corley, who has led Community for the past 25 years. Corley announced last year he would retire by the end of 2009.

Mills, 48, has been CEO of a for-profit Community subsidiary, Visionary Enterprises Inc., since 1987.

On May 1, Mills will take on the new role of president and CEO-elect. He will become Community’s new CEO when Corley retires “later this year,” Morey wrote in his memo.

“Bryan will work closely with Bill Corley in developing a seamless transition plan that will guide Community in its pursuit of global best practices in health care quality and safety, and will ensure that Community continues to deliver exceptional experiences to patients and families, physicians, and employees,” Morey said in a statement.

Morey said Community conducted a national search for Corley’s replacement, using a team of 40 board members, physicians, and administrative leaders to screen and interview candidates.

Under Corley, not-for-profit Community has grown from one hospital to five. It employs 11,000 people and had revenue of about $1.2 billion in 2007, the most recent figures available.

“I am excited about Bryan’s appointment to this position,” Corley said in a prepared statement. “He is an exceptional leader and will serve Community well in the years to come. I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.”

In January 2010, Corley will join Massachusetts-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, working to coach other hospitals around the world.

Visionary Enterprises Inc. specializes in starting for-profit surgery centers with physicians in Indiana and Michigan.

Under Mills’ leadership, VEI has grown from 50 employees and $2 million in annual revenue to 2,200 employees and $150 million in annual revenue.

Mills came to Community from Ernst & Young to serve as chief financial officer of Community Hospital North, which opened in 1985.

Mills holds an accounting degree from Ball State University. In addition to his work at Community, Mills also is a member of First United Methodist Church in Noblesville and is a Sunday-school teacher there. He also serves on the executive committee of the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville and participates in Noblesville Youth Baseball.

“I appreciate the confidence and trust the board has placed in me,” Mills said in a statement. “I look forward to carrying on the traditions and rich culture that have made Community Health Network the well-respected organization it is today.”

Mills has a good reputation with physicians. Dr. John McGoff, who works as an emergency physician at Community’s North and East hospitals, has known Mills for two decades.

“He’s been known as the go-to guy when there’s conflict with physicians,” said McGoff, who is president of the Indianapolis Medical Society and was on Community’s board of directors until December.

“He’s shown he can be a smart businessman,” McGoff added.

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