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Hospital CEO packs bags to be closer to family

6/5/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Matt Heyns, chief executive officer at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, recently announced his resignation and move to Ottawa. Heyns has been selected as the CEO at Ransom Memorial Hospital.

PVCH is a critical access hospital under a five-year management agreement with Hays Medical Center.

"Hays works with us to provide a number of services that, as a stand-alone hospital, we may not be able to have on our own," said Linda Henderson, marketing director at PVCH. "That includes anything from an IT department to billing department to various other services."

During Heyns' tenure as CEO, the hospital grew from 16 employees to more than 90.

"He will be greatly missed," Henderson said. "He's been able to do a lot for the growth of the hospital through adding a number of services that a lot of critical access hospitals only dream about. He has been in that leadership of taking us where we are today."

Heyns hailed from Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend, where he was the chief financial officer. After four years of service at PVCH, he is moving to Ottawa in order to be closer to his wife's family.

"It's bittersweet," he said. "Her family lives in Lenexa, so Ottawa is a lot closer. It's going to be tough to leave the community and the friends we've established, but letting our kids grow up with their grandparents is important to us, and being able to move into a larger health-care facility was icing on the cake."

In his new position, he hopes to experience new challenges and affect patient care.

"Once you get something like (hospital growth) accomplished, you start thinking about new challenges and what you can do to other health-care facilities to positively impact patient care," Heyns said. "I'm looking forward to going there and starting to evaluate what is going on from a health-care perspective, and then developing a new strategic plan to address those issues."

His last day will be June 24.

Shae Veach, vice president of regional operations at HaysMed, said the hiring process has started for a new CEO.

"The beauty of the unique partnership Pawnee County and PVCH has with Hays Medical Center is that the transition will be seamless without any disruption of services to the community while we are going through the hiring process," he said in a written statement. "Our goal is to have a new CEO hired within the next few months."  

Heyns has no plans to advance his career farther than Ottawa

"I always say, if the boards continue to have me as the CEO of a hospital, I'll always be there," he said. "I see spending a significant amount of time in Ottawa."