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Published on May 31, 2016

Lawrence Memorial Hospital CEO bids Lawrence community goodbye

Sharon Spratt, CEO of Cottonwood Inc., left, and Gene Meyer, outgoing president and CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, share a humorous moment Wednesday afternoon during Meyer's retirement reception at LMH.

Photo by Richard Gwin

Sharon Spratt, CEO of Cottonwood Inc., left, and Gene Meyer, outgoing president and CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, share a humorous moment Wednesday afternoon during Meyer's retirement reception at LMH.

By Gene Meyer

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Today marks my last day as CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Over the past several months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback that I’ve had on what we’ve been able to accomplish at LMH. As appreciative as I am to hear this, too often the CEO of an organization is given too much credit for the accomplishments of many. That is the purpose of this brief article.

An organization the size of LMH is dependent upon literally several thousand people who are committed to our mission. Clearly, the Board of Trustees of the hospital heads that list because of their important responsibilities to ensuring quality care and proper oversight of the organization. Their work has been exemplary over the past 19 years that I’ve been associated with various compositions of that group.

I am so appreciative of their leadership and support.

Along with the Hospital Trustees are the Endowment Association Directors who work tirelessly on events, activities and other fundraising efforts to help the philanthropic needs that any hospital must rely on. Many of the resources that we are so proud of could not be possible without this fundraising.

To be a great hospital requires that an organization have a great medical staff. And we do. Our highly-trained physicians have dedicated their professional lives to their patients and then in turn to the support of LMH. While physician recruitment is always an ongoing opportunity for organizations like LMH, the current composition of our medical staff is outstanding. Most physicians have many opportunities to practice practically anywhere in the country. But our staff have chosen to make that in and around Lawrence, Kansas. We could not be where we are today without them.

Many hospitals have a cadre of volunteers who do an outstanding job in various areas of the hospitals. Our volunteer contingent exceeds any that I’ve ever seen in my 35 years of healthcare. By sheer numbers, commitment and support, they demonstrate a unique and important value to the success of our organization. Their smiles, greetings and in many cases, wayfinding that they do, send the message to those we serve that they are an important cog in our organization.

I think by now you know how important numbers are to me. The number 1,450 marks the number of associates who have chosen a career at LMH. The skills, abilities and personalities that they each exhibit have blended together into a team that makes me very proud. Proud of not only what they do, but proud to have been associated with so many of them for the last 19 years. They are the fabric of LMH.

I am eternally grateful to each one of them for their support, input and professionalism.

And finally, to many of you who have been patients, visitors, donors or just plain friends of LMH. I consider myself so very fortunate to end a career in healthcare with so many positive memories and friendships that we’ve established.

Healthcare in many respects defines a community. Our successes at LMH have been on behalf of the communities that we serve. While we are tested every single day in moments of truth, the overall performance of LMH is one that I hope everyone is proud of. Thank you for the opportunity that I’ve had to serve.

To your health.

— Gene Meyer has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital since May 1997.

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