Higgins ready for more responsibility

Robert Blackford/Editor

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Myron Higgins. Mercer County Hospital's director of human resources learned that the hospital's CEO, Tim Putnam, was leaving one minute and that he was taking over as Interim CEO the next.

Then came his 50th birthday last Friday, Nov. 21.

After Tim Putnam announced that Jan. 16 would be his last day at the hospital the Mercer County Hospital's Board of Directors named Higgins the interim CEO for the next year.

The news of Putnam's departure didn't come as a complete surprise to Higgins. "He told us last week. I thought he would be here a little longer."

It won't be a completely new position for Higgins. He served in the capacity before Putnam came on board and also before Gary Larson was the interim CEO.

"I was the interim interim CEO," joked Higgins.

"I'm excited. There is clear direction from the governing board and we have senior management in place. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully this will be a positive experience for the hospital and me."

Higgins added, "I am content at being the interim CEO for now. We'll take this one day at a time."

The hospital's remodeling project is the biggest challenge in front of Higgins as the new year begins.

In addition to that Higgins said he would work at making the hospital as efficient as possible as well as continue giving great patient care. "We have a great staff here. We will be doing business as usual. We are always here and are ready to help."

"I will be working on financials and strengthening our financial position as well as assisting in the transition to a new CEO. We have a strategic plan in place and other directives the board has given us."

Next month is Higgins' 21st anniversary with the hospital.

While Higgins' background is in respiratory therapy, he has a master's degree in business administration from St. Ambrose University.

Putnam said he was confident Higgins to handle the interim CEO role "He's been an interim CEO before. Since then he has been involved in the building project and human resources. Now he is much more prepared than he was previously."