By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
The Pondera Medical Center (PMC) board of directors have announced the resignation of Mark Jones as CEO of PMC.
The resignation was effective immediately on Monday. In a prepared statement released by the hospital, Jones expressed his appreciation of the PMC staff and said, “They are simply the best I have had the pleasure to work with in my 30-year-healthcare career.”
In a phone conversation on Monday evening, Jones told the I-O, “They knew this was coming. The PMC is under good management, they are on an even keel and have a good team.”
He also said it was time for him to accept another challenge and he will be pursuing opportunities with a professional management company.
PMC Board Chairman Brent Gaylord, commented, “All of us at the PMC wish Mark well in his future endeavors.”
Tiffany Nitz who is the current Chief Operations Officer (COO) will be the interim PMC/CEO while the board begins the search for a new CEO for the hospital. Gaylord commented, “The board recognizes this transition may be a challenge, but is confident that the cohesiveness and professionalism of the employees at the PMC will embrace this change and remain diligent in working towards a bright and prosperous future.”
Jones said “It’s scary going out on your own for the first time, and taking a failing facility and turning it around. I’ve never done that before.”
He and his wife plan on staying in Conrad. “We love it here,” he said. The former CEO noted they had two kids from Montana, “We want to stay here and grow old.”
Readers will recall that in March of 2012, he was named the CEO of the Year by the American Association of Healthcare Providers.
Since that story was in the newspaper, Jones said he had had offers from medical facilities of all sizes to run their operation. Those many offers helped to cement his decision to resign from the PMC and go out on his own.
When he became the CEO of the hospital, he had a goal to make it turn around and become profitable.
Three years ago, the PMC lost a million dollars. Today, they are a profitable business.
“We have met the goal and made a miraculous turnaround,” Jones said last March. Today, he said, it is time to make and meet new goals.
Editor’s note: Contrary to rumor on the street, Jones was not escorted out of the PMC.