South Peninsula Hospital announced its new CEO this week. Ryan Smith will be replacing Joe Woodin, who resigned due to “unexpected circumstances” last month.
It isn’t the first time Smith has worked on the Kenai Peninsula. He served as the Chief Financial Officer for South Peninsula Hospital in the late 1990s. Then from 2006-2011, he served as the CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital.
“So we’re very proud of our accomplishments there and growing the clients of that hospital and really building it into the hospital it is today,” he said. “So I hope to be able to do similar things at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer.”
Smith is currently the CEO of Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas, Wyoming. But he said he always wanted to return to Homer. He adds that one of his biggest priorities is to stabilize the senior leadership at the hospital.
“I know that they're negotiating a new sublease and operating agreement with the borough and there’s also union contracts that needs to be negotiated,” he said. “So there's no shortage of important things to do after I get there.”
SPH said Smith expressed interest in the CEO position immediately after it became available, so the hospital decided not to cast a wide net for other candidates. In a press release, the hospital’s board president, David Groesbeck, spoke highly of Smith. Groesback said Smith’s familiarity with Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula will be a valuable asset.
Smith said he hopes to stay at the hospital long-term.
“I'm 50-years-old right now, and if I could retire at South Peninsula Hospital, that would be a great accomplishment,” he said.
He plans to arrive in Homer in August. The hospital’s interim CEO, Noel Rea, will remain in the position until Smith takes over.