Yancer to leave Shady Grove Adventist
Seven-year president of Rockville medical center heading west to lead larger system in Northern California
Yancer is slated to start work April 2 at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Calif. Enloe has seven facilities, 391 beds and about 2,300 employees.
Dennis Hansen, who joined Shady Grove last June as COO and vice president, will be interim president until a permanent replacement is chosen. Hansen previously was COO at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Colorado.
A search committee, consisting of members of the hospital’s board and medical staff, will be formed to name a permanent leader, said William G. Robertson, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare, the Rockville parent of Shady Grove. Robertson is leading the search committee for a new Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce president, who is expected to be named in the next few weeks.
Shady Grove Hospital has 268 beds and some 1,900 employees — about 150 more than it had when Yancer started there. The hospital is in the midst of a $99 million expansion and renovation project that began in 2005 and will boost its bed capacity to 296 by 2009.
Yancer cited the expansion and establishment of a $7.5 million free-standing emergency center last August in Germantown among highlights of her tenure. Both of those projects took several years to get off the ground; approval of the 21-bed emergency facility even required action by the state legislature after not gaining approval by the Maryland Health Care Commission.
‘‘It seems that nothing is easy to do in Maryland,” said Yancer, 53. ‘‘The emergency facility was worth the hard work.”
Since 2001, annual admissions have increased by about 10 percent to almost 24,000 at Shady Grove, according to hospital figures. The number of employees rose by 8 percent to almost 1,900 and physicians by 3 percent to 1,050 during that time.
Yancer said she made it a priority to recruit more physicians and nurses, as well as expand pediatric programs, while improving the environment so employees would feel free to recommend changes without fear of reprisal. ‘‘Shady Grove has become a destination hospital for pediatric care,” she said.
Besides the expansion and new emergency center, Robertson praised Yancer’s staff development and leadership in an email. ‘‘During her tenure, she has led Shady Grove in a new direction, transforming the culture and improving the hospital’s performance,” Robertson said.
Under Yancer’s tenure, Shady Grove has received awards for workplace environment from the National Work~Life Alliance and for corporate achievement from the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
When Yancer came to Shady Grove, the hospital was the target of investigations by state and federal officials regarding patient care. The hospital’s accreditation had been downgraded by the Chicago private accrediting agency Joint Commission, formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a few months before she arrived.
Under Yancer, Shady Grove not only upgraded its accreditation but won the Ernest Amory Codman Award in 2005 for excellence in improving the quality and safety of clinical care from the Joint Commission. Between 2003 and 2004, Shady Grove shortened the average length of stay for patients in the emergency room by 25 minutes and significantly reduced ambulance diversion times by using a tracking system to improve emergency department management, according to a Joint Commission report.
Challenges at Enloe
Enloe has its own issues, having been without a permanent CEO since July when Dan Neumeister resigned. His resignation, and resignations by members of the Enloe board of directors, followed a dispute with physicians over contract and management issues, according to Enloe information.
Yancer said she is up to the task in working with physicians and others on any lingering concerns.
‘‘The Enloe search committee made a very thorough, careful and exhaustive search,” Yancer said. ‘‘They wanted someone who will work with the medical staff and treat employees with respect. They wanted someone who communicated well. That is what I did when I came to Shady Grove.”
Yancer chairs the board of advisors at the Universities at Shady Grove, which she will continue to do until June 30, probably requiring her to fly back to Maryland a few times. Yancer is also a graduate of the Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Maryland programs.
Prior to Shady Grove, Yancer was an executive at hospitals and health systems in Tennessee, Nebraska, Missouri and Michigan. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Andrews University and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Kansas. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Yancer had not been to California before the Enloe interviewing process, just as the Shady Grove position was her first one in Maryland. She has learned to deal with situations such as Maryland being the only state in the nation to regulate insurance reimbursements to hospitals.
‘‘I have a learning curve in my new job, but then I had that when I came to Shady Grove,” Yancer said. ‘‘I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Busy emergency rooms
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital had 88,338 emergency room visitors in 2005, second in Maryland only to to Baltimore’s Franklin Square Hospital Center.
But Franklin Square has 98 emergency department spaces, compared with Shady Grove’s 55, giving the latter more visitors per spaces. Shady Grove’s emergency visits per spaces of 1,599 is higher than the state average of 1,343.
Emergency visits at Maryland hospitals increased by 23 percent between 2000 and 2006 to 2.3 million, according to the Maryland Health Care Commission. That was about double the national increase.
Source: Maryland Health Care Commission