Last updated: August 23. 2013 5:51PM - 240 Views

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LIMA ‚?? After a German-themed dinner at the annual St. Rita‚??s Medical Center Mercy Club banquet Tuesday evening, retired St. Rita‚??s president and CEO and St. Rita‚??s Health Partners head, Jim Reber, was given the prestigious Mercy Club Award.

‚??I was surprised when I learned that tonight‚??s recipient doesn‚??t like surprises,‚?Ě said Gene Patrick, co-chair of the St. Rita‚??s Health Care Foundation. ‚??So Jim, relax, and enjoy the rest of the evening.‚?Ě

Reber spent 22 years as the medical center president and CEO and two years more recently as head of St. Rita‚??s Health Partners before retiring in May. The award is intended to recognize an individual with dedicated service to the community.

‚??Under Jim‚??s leadership, we‚??ve experienced very innumerous success with collaborations, like the five-hospital alliance that recently had its 15th anniversary. And our joint ventures with Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, the Ambulatory Surgery Center and Kidney Services,‚?Ě said Steve Walters, a former chair of the SRHC Foundation.

Other accomplishments during Reber‚??s time at the hospital included the implementation of open heart surgery and cardiac intervention programs, a market share growth from 40 percent to 60 percent, a medical staff that grew from 90 to 300, and revenues that have expanded from $70 million to more than $425 million.

‚??Wow, thank you. Tonight‚??s ruse was that I had prepared to give the award to Gene Patrick,‚?Ě Reber said, with laughter in the audience that followed. ‚??This is just so special and we had years and years of fun and progress. And we had a wonderful team. Good managers, good doctors, good executives and great support.‚?Ě

Continued success at the hospital was also evident. Brian Smith, CEO of St. Rita‚??s Health Partners, informed the hundreds in attendance at the banquet that the hospital has received a platinum performance achievement award from the American College of Cardiology and a lifeline gold performance achievement award from the American Heart Association over the last year.

‚??That can‚??t happen without the support of the people in this room who give us the facilities to do that,‚?Ě Smith said.

Although Reber usually isn‚??t particularly fond of surprises, this turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for him.

‚??It‚??s been a great ride,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I‚??m truly honored to have received the award this evening.‚?Ě

Mercy Club Award
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