By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
“My goal is to make this succeed.” That positive statement was made by 57-year-old Bill O’Leary as we sat down in his office at the hospital for an afternoon talk.
He grew up and graduated from high school in Harlem. From there, he went southeast to Billings to attend the St. Vincent Hospital X-Ray School.
After school in Billings there was another trek, further south, to Palm Desert, Calif., and the Eisenhower Medical Center. He started as a staff technologist and left 18 years later when the opportunity arose to return to Montana. O’Leary had become Director of Imagining Services at Kalispell Regional Hospital.
Back to Montana meant coming to Whitefish in 1995 and taking a position at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center (KRMC). It also meant moving into administration.
O’Leary says you have to migrate towards the administration side if you want improvement, and to work towards the goals of career advancement.
O’Leary did not serve in the military, but like a general leading new troops out of a mine field, “We will try to pull this facility together,” he says.
He knows a big problem here is getting Dr. Jay Taylor to stay on board, which he is determined to accomplish.
O’Leary has met once with Dr. Taylor and is scheduled to have a longer meeting with him.
He was also asked about Physician’s Assistant Christopher Mu, and if there was a possibility he might return.
O’Leary noted that he knew nothing of the Chris Mu situation. It may be something the trustees have to look at and give direction on.
He has not seen any applicants yet for the CEO position and he feels there needs to be about five applicants in before you start looking at them.
Asked if he was going to apply for the CEO position he said he had a home in Whitefish and his wife, Laurie, was working and wasn’t ready to retire.
That is neither a definitive no or yes answer, but leaves the door open to a possible run at the job.
O’Leary wants to pull this facility together. “There are wonderful people here. I want to work along with the team that’s here,” he says.
The CEO has a 20-foot Wells Craft boat that he is anxiously waiting to get on Lake Frances and Bynum Reservoir. “I am learning to fish for walleyes,” he says. His sport of choice is fishing because it is just about a year around activity.
When he has the opportunity to slow down and read, he likes to pick up a good mystery book.