Health

UnityPoint Health CEO Kevin Vermeer to step down

National search underway; Sue Thompson to serve as interim

Sue Thompson

UnityPoint Health
Sue Thompson UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health has announced its president and chief executive officer will step down effective Thursday.

Officials said on Monday Kevin Vermeer was leaving his role as head of the West Des Moines-based nonprofit health system to “pursue other opportunities” effective April 30.

“We greatly appreciate Kevin’s leadership and service over the past 20-plus years,” Randy Easton, chairman of the UnityPoint Health board of directors, said in a statement.

Vermeer has served a variety of regional and system leadership within UnityPoint Health for more than 20 years, including chief financial officer and chief strategy officer of the system.

He became CEO more than four years ago. According to the news release, Vermeer was “instrumental in developing many initiatives during his tenure with UnityPoint,” such as shaping the population health strategy, negotiating the joint operating agreement with UW Health in Wisconsin.

The UnityPoint board of directors will launch a national search for a permanent replacement in the coming months, the news release stated. Sue Thompson, senior vice president of integration and optimization and the CEO of UnityPoint Accountable Care, will serve as the interim CEO.

“She is well-prepared to effectively and compassionately steer our system through this time,” Easton stated. “With deep knowledge of our local communities and as a leader in protecting rural health care, she will serve our patients, physicians and staff well as we move forward.”

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In addition to many years as a bedside nurse, Thomas also has more than 30 years of experience in regional operations and clinical performance improvement, according to the release. Most recently, she has “played an integral role” in the system’s response to COVID-19.

“UnityPoint Health’s top priority has always been — and continues to be — providing high-quality care to our patients and communities,” Thompson said in a statement. “That commitment is unwavering in this extraordinary moment.”

UnityPoint Health, the 13th largest nonprofit health system in the nation, has hospitals and clinics across Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin and employees more than 30,000 individuals.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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