LIMA — Change is under way at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center.
The hospital’s parent company, Mercy Health, merged with fellow Catholic healthcare provider Bon Secours in September 2018. And the hospital has a new president, Ronda Lehman, who took over as interim president in late January and was named president on Monday.
“There’s been a lot of organizational changes along the way, but I’m very excited about where St. Rita’s is heading because I think there is great opportunity to leverage the larger system benefits but also remembering that care is delivered, and always will be delivered, locally, personally to our patients,” Lehman told The Lima News.
Lehman, who oversaw Mercy Health Physicians in Lima for five years prior to her new role, said she plans to identify procedures and services the hospital needs. She declined to share details about potential projects on the horizon.
She pointed to the hospital’s new residency programs as one of the biggest changes coming to St. Rita’s within the next several years.
“Offering that program is going to enable us to recruit and attract additional physicians and services for decades to come,” Lehman said.
Lehman said she doesn’t believe the hospital today is facing a crisis when it comes to recruiting staff, but she believes the residency programs will help mitigate those concerns in the future.
“As we look forward, having a shortage actually in some key physician areas is as big a concern as some of our nursing shortages as well,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons why the Graduate Medical Education program is going to be so beneficial.”
Lehman, a Lima native and graduate of Allen East, has worked for Mercy Health for 24 years. She started her career as a pharmacist but has held leadership roles for the majority of her time with the health network, most recently serving as chief operating officer of Mercy Health Physicians in Lima.
“I think that every position along the way has the opportunity to impact patients directly. … Each role along the way, it’s really just been looking at the patient from a different perspective or different journey in their life,” she said.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.