Thompson steps into role as Carson City Hospital chief


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:32 am on Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking a stroll through the hospital lobby to greet patients and guests, CCH President and CEO Matt Thompson stops to have a chat with longtime hospital volunteer Bruce Gates in the hospital lobby. — Daily News/Cory Smith

CARSON CITY — Carson City Hospital (CCH) is welcoming its fourth president and chief executive officer in 75 years.

Matt Thompson, who has served as the hospital’s vice president and chief operating officer for the past four years, accepted the hospital board of directors’ offer to succeed Bruce Traverse as president and CEO and was to be officially appointed Saturday.

Since joining CCH in 2008, Thompson has served on the Board of Finance and Quality committees, implemented a new service excellence program and has initiated several programs and strategies to place the organization in a position to fulfill the governmental health care reform measures and respond to reduced financial reimbursement.

“My role is to lead CCH according to the vision established by my mentors as it is further developed by the highly skilled and dedicated team which remains in place,” Thompson said. “I’m here to make sure our staff has all the tools and resources they need to take care of our patients.”

Thompson grew up in Indiana and is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and health education. He earned a master’s degree in health and hospital administration at Indiana University.

As of Dec. 24, Matt Thompson will take over as the new president and CEO of Carson City Hospital, the fourth in the hospital's 75-year history. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Since he was a freshmen at Ball State, Thompson said he knew that he one day wanted to be a CEO in a health-related field.

“Being a CEO, that’s been my goal for 25 years,” Thompson said. “The ability to be working with a neurosurgeon one minute and a maintenance guy the next, I absolutely love that.”

With nearly 20 years of hospital administration experience, Thompson previously served as vice president of support services at Pennock Health Services in Hastings from 1996 through 2007.

Thompson said he originally had no interest in leaving Hastings, but when the opportunity arrived to work with Traverse and Dr. Lawrence Brown, who passed away in 2009, he couldn’t pass on the opportunity.

“Both Bruce and Larry have shaped me to be the administrator I am today,” Thompson said. “I visited Carson City Hospital once in 1993 and met with both of them and I knew right away if an opportunity ever arose here, I would have to take it.”

Though the decision to come to CCH seemed obvious, Thompson said it was still a difficult one that faced many uncertainties.

“I was recruited to CCH in 2007 with the full knowledge of the CEO succession plan that was developed by the executive team and the board of directors,” Thompson said. “In essence, I have been on a four-year CEO job interview with training and mentoring from Bruce Traverse. I had no guarantee of a CEO position.”
Hospital faculty members, including Medical Director Robert Seals, have full confidence that Thompson is the right man for the job.

“Although he has big shoes to fill, Matt has the expertise and the complete backing of the physician staff to make this transition a seamless one,” Seals said.

Emergency Department Dr. Chris Herald also believes that under Thompson’s leadership, the hospital will move in the right direction.

“I have complete confidence that under Mr. Thompson’s leadership CCH will continue to provide the highest quality health care for years to come,” he said.

Thompson said the hospital faces many challenges in the upcoming months and years, but believes the hospital is in prime condition to meet these challenges head on and maintain an attitude of excellence in local healthcare.

“It makes me very proud to support the health of the community by being able to continue to improve services at our hospital,” he said. “It’s why I went into health care administration. CCH has a rich tradition of being a family-oriented, caring community hospital. This is part of who we are and I will continue to protect this part of our culture as we move forward.”

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