By Jason Stuart
Glendive Medical Center has named an interim chief executive officer to take over for outgoing CEO Scott Duke.
Parker Powell was tapped by the GMC board on Monday to temporarily fill Duke’s position while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Duke is scheduled to leave GMC on March 29.
Powell has worked for GMC since 2009. He was originally hired to serve as administrator for Prairie Community Hospital in Terry, which is under GMC’s control. He still holds that position, and was also recently promoted to the position of vice president of strategy at GMC.
Duke, who was involved with the hospital board in naming his interim replacement, including the interview process, said “continuity and experience” were the big factors behind Powell securing the job. Powell was one of two finalists.
“He’s an up-and-coming leader,” Duke said. “We’re pleased he had an interest and applied for the position.”
In most instances, hospital administrators hold a MBA or other advanced degree and have years of experience working as lower-level administrators before serving as chief executive officer of a hospital.
At 27 years of age, Powell finished his bachelor’s degree in 2008, earning it in healthcare administration at Montana State University-Billings. He is currently working on his master’s degree in the field, but Duke said he is “a year and a half” away from completing it.
Despite what could appear to be a lack of education and experience, Duke listed Powell’s attributes as a deciding factor in his hiring.
“His background, his education was a real plus,” Duke said.
Duke also said there is more to Powell’s education.
“What you might see on first blush isn’t the whole picture,” Duke said.
Powell worked in an administration internship position for St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in Billings for a year after his graduation.
“They have a very robust internship in healthcare administration,” Duke said.
St. John’s Lutheran is not a hospital but does operate retirement communities and nursing homes in the Billings area.
Duke also commended Powell’s performance running the small community hospital in Terry the last few years.
“His accomplishments at Prairie Community Hospital have been quite strong,” Duke said.
Duke credits Powell with growing PCH’s services, achieving designation as a rural trauma center, adding additional beds for acute care and recruiting additional providers.
Duke also credits Powell with keeping PCH in the black.
“They’ve prospered quite well financially in the time he’s been there,” Duke said.
According to Duke, it is likely that Powell will return to administering PCH full-time after the board picks a permanent replacement at GMC. During the meantime, Powell will split his time running both hospitals with help from other administrators.
Published February 13, 2013