Bill Bruce receives congratulations from Tom Gustafson

Tom Gustafson, CCMH Board of Trustees chairman, presents a plaque to Bill Bruce, former CCMH president/CEO, for his retirement. Photo by Dan Mundt

“Bill has had his hand shaken more than one time this afternoon,” said Crawford County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Gustafson on Monday evening as he congratulated former CCMH President/CEO Bill Bruce on his retirement.

Bruce joined CCMH in April 2012.

“I know personally it has been a pleasure to work with you in my five years on the board,” Gustafson said.

He said Bruce had worked diligently to improve the situation at the hospital.

“I think that speaks volumes of your dedication to this organization,” Gustafson said.

“I’m sure not only the board, but the community appreciates what you’ve done.”

He told Bruce to not be a stranger to activities at CCMH and presented a plaque to Bruce to express the hospital’s appreciation.

Bruce offered his thoughts to the board of trustees and others in attendance.

“I would offer you this,” Bruce said. “As you travel through your career, you work with a lot of different teams - teams of governance, teams of executive staff and teams of line staff - at least in my travels, anyway. Having worked at several different hospitals, this by far has been one of the best teams I’ve worked with all the way around.”

Bruce thanked the trustees for the clarity of the guidance in pushing to expand services at CCMH.

The hospital only had three full-time physicians in 2012 and has three times that many today, he said.

“It’s important for trustees to reflect back on that transition that was initiated in 2012 to really turn us into a community hospital,” Bruce said.

He thanked current CEO Erin Muck and the hospital’s executive team, specifically mentioning Heather Rasmussen, executive director of care integration; Brad Bonner, executive director of human resources and inside legal counsel; and Rachel Melby, chief financial officer.

“Without them, activities like we have accomplished would not have been possible,” he said.

He said Muck had shown her worth to the board and the community during the CEO selection process.

“I tell you, it’s been a good run,” Bruce said. “I’m extremely proud of this organization, this hospital, the people that work here in all the staff roles, the leadership and the governance,” Bruce said. “Thank you very much.”

“Bill has done a nice job of letting me do my thing,” Muck said.

She has been CEO since August 1. Bruce continued as president of the hospital during Muck’s transition from chief nursing officer to CEO.

“He’s always been solid as a rock when I needed advice or something from him,” she said.

“I’m very optimistic as we go forward,” Gustafson said. “I truly express appreciation for what Bill has given to this organization.

“Where this organization goes from here will certainly be due in large part to Bill’s efforts in the last seven years. We wish you well.”

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