In the 4 years that I have served in the role of CEO for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital I have had the pleasure of working with Mike Dell’Ara who serves on our Board of Directors for all 4 years. As a District Hospital in California, we have a publicly elected Board of Directors. Back in November of 2006 Mike ran for election on our Board and was successful. He was elected for a 4-year term, which ended with last week’s November 23 Board meeting. Earlier this year Mike decided to not run for a second 4-year term. His seat on the Board will be taken by Dr. Buz Graham in early December. I will write on another day about how fortunate we are to have Dr. Graham on the Board. Today I would like to recognize Mike Dell’Ara and his contributions to the success of MCDH.
I am going to miss Mike Dell’Ara at our Board meetings very much. Mike’s unique perspective as a successful businessman has been extremely helpful to our hospital. He has contributed in so many areas, but the 2 areas that stand out the most for me are in the areas of strategic planning and quality improvement. Mike has been a driving force in both arenas.
As a member of the Planning Committee and for several years as the Committee Chair, he has helped to create a strategic planning process, in which the entire community participates in planning for the hospital’s future and more importantly, accountability is established to ensure that the goals and objectives that have been agreed to, are followed through to completion. With Mike’s leadership, our Planning Committee has completed 3 public strategic plannning retreats. The Committee meets monthly and reviews a section of our Strategic Plan at every meeting and receives a report from management on outcomes and completion dates. As a result, since we have adopted this system, approximately 90% of all strategic planning goals and objectives have been completed. And those that have not, are expected to be completed in the next 6 months with the opening of a new Diagnostic Imaging Center and a new Central Plant for the hospital. At Mendocino Coast District Hospital, I like to say that our Strategic Plan is a living and breathing instrument that has helped to shape our success. And Mike’s other great passion has been in the area of quality. With his business background, Mike has helped our hospital to improve, not only our process for tracking quality measures but also, and more importantly, our quality outcomes. Our quality improvement program has itself improved and a new dashboard approach has made it easier to track both negative and positive trends and improvement. Thank you Mike these 2 key contributions and so many more. We at MCDH wish you all of the best in your future endeavors. We hope that you will remain involved in our Planning Committee and other hospital programs and projects.