New Blue Mountain Hospital Chief Executive Officer Derek Daly said his top priorities are ensuring stability in the health system, promoting confidence in the hospital and improving public relations.
“I know we’ve been through some challenges, and I’m working hard with people to reach solutions,” he said.
Daly started Oct. 17 and said he spent his first month learning about the hospital and establishing relationships with employees and community members. He said he has visited the outlying towns in the county and likes the area.
Originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Daly said he is looking forward to the weather here. With an interest in being outdoors, hiking and sightseeing, he said Grant County had exactly what he was looking for.
With a college football coach for a father, Daly said he also enjoys sports and travel, when he has the time.
Being young and single allowed him to take advantage of this opportunity in Grant County, Daly said, and he has rural health care experience.
Daly earned an undergraduate degree in business administration at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. He then obtained a master’s of health administration at the University of Iowa while also working for the Academic Medical Center for the university’s hospital and clinic.
After receiving his degree, he returned to South Dakota and began working for Sanford Health, a large rural health system with a network of critical access hospitals like Blue Mountain Hospital. He moved up within the organization and most recently was the CEO for two and a half years of a Sanford-managed facility in the small town of Chester, Montana, near the Canadian border. The organization was smaller than Blue Mountain Hospital, he said, but was of similar scope, with a critical access hospital, a clinic and nursing home and assisted living populations.
Daly said he is excited for the opportunity to work in Grant County.
“We’ve got a great team of medical providers, a really great team,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity and potential for great things here moving forward. There’s some new programs and services that I would hope to investigate to move forward with in 2017. ...
“Obviously any time we have opportunity, there’s a lot of work that needs to come into it. Programs don’t build themselves overnight, and services don’t get added, but I think we’ve got the ability to continue to do some good things here.”