There’s a new man in town, as the old song goes, and the place you’re most likely to see him is at Sentara RMH Medical Center. In January, the hospital welcomed Douglas J. Moyer as its new president. Moyer takes over the helm from Jim Krauss, who served as president for 15 years, leading the hospital during its move to a new campus, the addition of its first tertiary service, the formation of Sentara RMH Medical Group and the merger with Sentara Healthcare. Now, Sentara RMH Medical Center is beginning a new chapter, and Moyer says he’s ready to get to work.
Why Sentara RMH?
From his first visit to Harrisonburg for interviews, through his first few months here, Moyer has known that Sentara RMH is where he wants to be.
“Sentara RMH has a great reputation in the Valley, and I’m impressed with everything I’ve learned,” says Moyer. “But ultimately it comes down to people.”
A self-described “relationship-type” person, Moyer felt drawn to the area not only by the new job, but also by the people and community.
“My family and I were greeted with a smile everywhere we went, and everyone was so welcoming and engaging,” recalls Moyer. “We love the college-town setting and all that it has to offer.”
A family man at heart, Moyer and his wife of 22 years, Lori, have two sons: Benjamin, 12, and Jackson, 10. The Moyers really enjoy spending time together.
“We like baseball and doing things outdoors,” he says.
During his interview process, Moyer felt an immediate connection with Ann Homan, vice chair of the Sentara RMH Board of Directors, as well as with the hospital’s senior management team. Likewise, Homan and the Sentara RMH team were just as impressed with Moyer.
“I like his style,” Homan says. “Doug listens well and responds directly, and he seems to fit in well with the culture of our community.”
Rick Haushalter, who has served as Sentara RMH interim president since September 2016, agrees with Homan.
“I had the opportunity to spend time with Doug during his interview process, and I know people who have worked with him in the past,” says Haushalter, who has been with Sentara RMH for 18 years. “He is a wonderful person who shares our values and will blend right in with this community.”
Mike Gentry, chief operating officer for Sentara Healthcare, is very impressed with Moyer’s solid leadership abilities.
“Doug brings a wealth of experience to Sentara,” notes Gentry. “He’s a great listener and leader, valuing input from others to support thoughtful, inclusive decisions. Much of his success comes from building cohesive, motivated teams that ‘get stuff done,’ in particular working to enhance the focus on patients. Doug plans to grow new programs to better serve our community and will bring a sense of urgency to improve the care we provide at Sentara RMH.”
A Proven Track Record
One of the key qualities the Sentara RMH Board and Sentara as a system were looking for in a new president was the ability to implement the changes taking place in the healthcare industry, while keeping the hospital true to the character of the local community.
“Going forward, our leadership needs to assimilate the changes occurring in health care and adapt them to our community and culture,” Homan says. She feels confident that Moyer is just the person to maintain that balance.
“Doug has had experience with healthcare systems, and he understands the benefits that emerge when hospitals come together,” she continues. “We’re very confident in him.”
Moyer comes to Harrisonburg from the Richmond area, where he had lived for many years. His most recent post was serving as chief executive officer over three hospitals in the CHS Virginia Hospital Network, which involved integrating hospital operations and physician networks across the three hospital campuses.
“Doug brings extensive experience in key areas,” says Haushalter. “He has produced great results with physician recruitment and retention, is used to working in a competitive marketplace and running a cost-efficient hospital, and is familiar with a merger environment. His long tenure with CHS also gives him insight into the complexities of working in a multihospital system.”
Moyer has a long string of professional accomplishments. The two he’s most proud of include building a new (replacement) 300-bed hospital in Petersburg and successfully launching the open heart surgery program there, following a long Certificate of Public Need battle to obtain the necessary Certificate of Public Need, a legal document required in Virginia before opening or expanding certain healthcare services. Both achievements brought significant healthcare enhancements to an underserved community.
“What I bring to Sentara RMH Medical Center is a long track record of success and a steady hand on the wheel,” Moyer says.
First Steps at Sentara RMH
Moyer has followed Sentara’s growth over the years and is looking forward to working within the network. He’s also interested in learning about what has made the hospital such an effective healthcare provider in the area.
“Health care comes down to patient experiences and quality outcomes,” Moyer says. “In Harrisonburg, those indicators of success are already in place. So I need to learn how that success has been sustained and grown, and work with the Sentara RMH team to further enhance the care we provide.”
In the meantime, he’s been focusing on getting to know board members, medical and hospital staff, and community and business leaders. He has also been working with Jonathan Davis, president of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, on strengthening the relationship between the two facilities.
Even with the success Sentara RMH has achieved, Moyer still believes a lot more can be done to make health care more convenient and accessible to community members.
“Many of the things we do in our lives now—for example, making haircut appointments—we do on our smartphones,” he notes. “We should be able to do that with health care. We need to understand how better to engage with people in this modern era.”
Frank Gordon, MD, vice chief of the Sentara RMH medical staff, believes that while the last few years have seen significant progress in the hospital’s size and capabilities, plenty of opportunities still exist for further enhancements.
“Important work remains to ensure continued timely access to important emerging technologies and new forms of care,” says Dr. Gordon.
Dr. Gordon believes Moyer’s experience in balancing community needs and resources to develop responsible growth plans will continue to promote the Sentara RMH vision for improving health care in the area.
“I love growing programs and hospitals,” Moyer says. “I wake up in the morning excited about building, growing and elevating our quality of care.”