Ridgeview Medical Center Board of Directors names Michael Phelps as new President and CEO

Unanimous appointment to succeed retiring Robert Stevens

Michael Phelps, Chief Operating Officer at Ridgeview Medical Center, has been named the new President and CEO, effective July 10, 2017. Phelps is replacing Robert Stevens (left) who will retire from Ridgeview on Dec. 31, 2017, after serving as its President and CEO for 21 years.

The Ridgeview Medical Center Board of Directors announced today that Michael Phelps has been selected as Ridgeview’s new President and CEO, replacing Robert Stevens who will retire on Dec. 31, 2017, after leading the organization for 21 years.

Phelps has worked for Ridgeview for 13 years, and has held a number of executive positions in the organization including serving as Vice President of Diversified Services from 2006-2010, Chief Administrative Officer from 2010-13 and as Chief Operating Officer since 2013. In his executive roles, Phelps has led operations for Ridgeview’s network of hospitals, primary and specialty care clinics and outreach services in Ridgeview’s six-county service area. He has also developed and implemented many of Ridgeview’s key business strategies, expansion projects, clinical partnerships and programs, and led the system’s financial operations, provider and payer relations, and acquisition activities. Phelps also led the development of Ridgeview’s first Accountable Care Organization, serving as CEO of Ridgeview Community Network.

New President and CEO Selection

Mitchell Kilian, Chair of the Ridgeview Medical Center Board of Directors, said that the Board has a responsibility for due diligence and regularly discusses succession planning for all executives to ensure it has the best leadership in the industry. Upon receiving Stevens’ decision to retire, the Ridgeview Board initiated a comprehensive process in early 2017 to guide the selection of its new President and CEO and explored both external and internal search options. “This included extensive interviews with Mike Phelps, a skilled executive who Bob has been mentoring as his possible successor,” Kilian said. “Valuing stability, succession planning and his outstanding, proven leadership performance, the Board unanimously selected Mike Phelps as Bob’s replacement.”

“Ridgeview is financially and operationally strong, positioned well for the future and committed to stability and independence under the new leadership of Mike Phelps,” Kilian added. “Over the past 13 years, he has demonstrated to the Board that he has the expertise, experience and vision to guide Ridgeview in this dynamic health care environment. Most important, Mike has the passion and the heart to maintain our culture of surrounding every patient and family with kindness and compassion.”

Phelps is only the third President and CEO in Ridgeview’s 54-year history, succeeding Stevens and its first president John Devins. “I’m honored that the Ridgeview Board of Directors has placed its trust and confidence in me to lead this amazing organization. The Board and I have a shared vision around the continued growth and role of Ridgeview as a valued and preferred health care provider for the people, businesses, and clinical partners in our communities. I intend to build on these strengths of the organization and to position us for success in this complex health care environment,” Phelps said. “I cannot overstate how rewarding it is to be a member of such a high performing leadership team with an innovative and caring culture, excellent physicians and staff who are second to none.”

“Ridgeview has been fortunate to have such stable and visionary leadership with John Devins and Bob Stevens in the CEO position. I sincerely appreciate and thank Bob for his mentoring and leadership during the past 13 years,” Phelps said.     

Robert Stevens retiring Dec. 31, 2017
Stevens made the decision to retire from Ridgeview after leading the organization for 21 years. “Bob is a visionary, and a nationally recognized and compassionate leader who moved us from a city-owned hospital and two locations to an independent, non-profit system with three hospitals, 12 primary care clinics, multiple specialty clinics, outreach programs and more,” Kilian said. “Always committed to making care more accessible in the communities we serve, it was his vision to build Two Twelve Medical Center, the Midwest’s first 24/7 emergency and urgent care facility – a model that has been adopted by many health systems across the country.”

Under Stevens’ leadership, Ridgeview has grown from 800 employees in 1996 to 2,000 employees, 500 volunteers and more than 600 credentialed providers on its medical staff today. “Bob has managed Ridgeview’s growth while always focusing on the needs of our patients and communities,” Kilian said. “Twenty-one years is a long time to serve as CEO, especially in health care, and the Board thanks and recognizes Bob for his significant contributions and commitment to Ridgeview.”

Stevens has decided to explore other opportunities in retirement, but will remain with the organization through 2017 to ensure a smooth leadership transition. “I support the Board of Directors’ decision 100 percent,” Stevens said. “I am completely confident that Mike has the experience and ability to lead Ridgeview as President and CEO. He has developed strong relationships with staff and our health care partners, has led many of our innovative strategies and projects, and is passionate about our patients and communities.”

“It has been my privilege to work with the most talented staff, providers, volunteers, leaders and community members. Ridgeview is a very special place, and I am both honored and humbled to have served as CEO,” Stevens said.