Skip to main content

Baird retirring August 31

February 21, 2011

Marvin Baird...to step down

By JOE SPAULDING
    A career in Adams County that he thought would last for six months but will end up at a little over 22 years will soon come to an end for Adams Health Network Executive Director Marvin L. Baird.
    Baird, who will be 75 in July, recently announced that he will be retiring from his hospital-based position effective August 31. The Adams Health Network board has hired a national search committee to seek a replacement, with the successful candidate hopefully to be at the hospital by the end of May.
    Baird had been hired by the hospital trustees in 1989 to do some consulting work and when former executive director Andrew J. Barrett resigned, Baird agreed to step in for a six-month period until a permanent director could be found.
    "I never thought I'd be here for 22 years. I have to be honest and say, however, that I have truly enjoyed every minute I've been here. There was no trepidation in coming here because it initially wasn't to be a long-term stay. The community made me feel welcome and it was like a man once said, 'If you enjoy your work, it's not a job, it's a hobby.' Well, being the executive director here has been my hobby for 22 years," he said.
    That 22-year term makes Baird the longest running executive director in the history of the hospital and he wistfully said what he would miss the most about AMH is "the social impact it has. Being able to sit in the lobby and talk with a farmer. Having breakfast with third-shift employees. I'll miss the association with people. They've all been so wonderful to be around."
    Obviously, the biggest change in Baird's career in Decatur has been the construction of the new hospital in 2005.
    "The community embraced the new hospital and what it meant to the area. It's sort of like the movie 'Field of Dreams' where they say, 'Build it and they will come.' Well, we built it and the community accepted it. They have a sense of ownership." (AMH is one of just three hospitals in northeast Indiana that remains locally owned; the others are DeKalb Hospital in Auburn and Cameron Hospital in Angola the others)
    The new building was vital to the survival of the hospital in Decatur, according to Baird.
    "We started thinking about a new hospital in the mid-'90s and from the beginning we knew we had to get people into buying into the vision of a horizontally integrated health care system where we could provide their health care needs from beginning to end," Baird said. "At the end of the day, what I'm most proud of is the new hospital. In my mind it is what makes us viable and will keep us viable.
    "We would not have been able to recruit the new doctors we have, such as our orthopaedic surgeon, our new female general practitioners, and others. It has also helped us offer new services to the community that they need," he said.
    Baird said retirement will pose an interesting situation for him. While he said he would stay deeply committed to AMH and said he would be available to it "for the rest of my life if they needed something," he might go back to his job prior to joining the hospital, which was doing consulting work for hospitals.
    "I'd like to do some more reading than what I've been able to do the last couple of years and do some traveling with my wife, Jackie. I'd also like to do some genealogy work on my wife's side of the family," he noted,.
    Baird has been active in many community and statewide organizations during his stay at AMH. He most recently received the Decatur Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian of the Year Award at its annual dinner,, and several years ago was a grand marshall along with members of the hospital board for the Callithumpian Parade.
    He said his work with the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program board  has been successful in drawing several new doctors to Decatur. He served as president of the statewide Hospital Purchasing Service (HPS) that gets special pricing on items used by hospital, and has been on the boards of the Family Hospice of Northeast Indiana and of the United Way.
    "I won't miss the nit-picky stuff that goes on, but I sure will miss the association with the good people here. They've been wonderful to me.  Six months turned into 22 years. Time flies, doesn't it?," he concluded.
    
By JOE SPAULDING
    A career in Adams County that he thought would last for six months but will end up at a little over 22 years will soon come to an end for Adams Health Network Executive Director Marvin L. Baird.
    Baird, who will be 75 in July, recently announced that he will be retiring from his hospital-based position effective August 31. The Adams Health Network board has hired a national search committee to seek a replacement, with the successful candidate hopefully to be at the hospital by the end of May.
    Baird had been hired by the hospital trustees in 1989 to do some consulting work and when former executive director Andrew J. Barrett resigned, Baird agreed to step in for a six-month period until a permanent director could be found.
    "I never thought I'd be here for 22 years. I have to be honest and say, however, that I have truly enjoyed every minute I've been here. There was no trepidation in coming here because it initially wasn't to be a long-term stay. The community made me feel welcome and it was like a man once said, 'If you enjoy your work, it's not a job, it's a hobby.' Well, being the executive director here has been my hobby for 22 years," he said.
    That 22-year term makes Baird the longest running executive director in the history of the hospital and he wistfully said what he would miss the most about AMH is "the social impact it has. Being able to sit in the lobby and talk with a farmer. Having breakfast with third-shift employees. I'll miss the association with people. They've all been so wonderful to be around."
    Obviously, the biggest change in Baird's career in Decatur has been the construction of the new hospital in 2005.
    "The community embraced the new hospital and what it meant to the area. It's sort of like the movie 'Field of Dreams' where they say, 'Build it and they will come.' Well, we built it and the community accepted it. They have a sense of ownership." (AMH is one of just three hospitals in northeast Indiana that remains locally owned; the others are DeKalb Hospital in Auburn and Cameron Hospital in Angola the others)
    The new building was vital to the survival of the hospital in Decatur, according to Baird.
    "We started thinking about a new hospital in the mid-'90s and from the beginning we knew we had to get people into buying into the vision of a horizontally integrated health care system where we could provide their health care needs from beginning to end," Baird said. "At the end of the day, what I'm most proud of is the new hospital. In my mind it is what makes us viable and will keep us viable.
    "We would not have been able to recruit the new doctors we have, such as our orthopaedic surgeon, our new female general practitioners, and others. It has also helped us offer new services to the community that they need," he said.
    Baird said retirement will pose an interesting situation for him. While he said he would stay deeply committed to AMH and said he would be available to it "for the rest of my life if they needed something," he might go back to his job prior to joining the hospital, which was doing consulting work for hospitals.
    "I'd like to do some more reading than what I've been able to do the last couple of years and do some traveling with my wife, Jackie. I'd also like to do some genealogy work on my wife's side of the family," he noted,.
    Baird has been active in many community and statewide organizations during his stay at AMH. He most recently received the Decatur Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian of the Year Award at its annual dinner,, and several years ago was a grand marshall along with members of the hospital board for the Callithumpian Parade.
    He said his work with the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program board  has been successful in drawing several new doctors to Decatur. He served as president of the statewide Hospital Purchasing Service (HPS) that gets special pricing on items used by hospital, and has been on the boards of the Family Hospice of Northeast Indiana and of the United Way.
    "I won't miss the nit-picky stuff that goes on, but I sure will miss the association with the good people here. They've been wonderful to me.  Six months turned into 22 years. Time flies, doesn't it?," he concluded.
    
• • • • • •
    The successor to Adams Health Network Executive Director Marvin L. Baird that is selected by the hospital trustees will inherit "a first-class facility with a good management team and top-notch employees" to assist in developing his/her plan for the network, Baird said.
    He said the new administrator must battle several obstacles, including the rules and regulations put down by President Obama's healthcare reform plan and the ongoing goal of continuing programs that will benefit area residents.
    Some of those programs that benefit the citizenry the most are also programs that are fueling budgetary headaches for the hospital because they are services that are not reimbursed at the level they cost the hospital.  For example, key services such as EMS, Home Health, Extended Care, Behavioral Health, and Obstetrics have all shown a negative line in recent budgets because of reimbursement cutbacks.
    "The hospital should always provide needed local services," Baird stressed, noting that for example, "Home Health usually is seeing anywhere from 60-70 people on any given day." The new administrator will need to seek ways to offer these programs while trying to cut losses at the same time, he said.
    The process for hiring a replacement for Baird has been an arduous one, with the search committee receiving over 70 applications. Baird said the trustees had several items they wanted in a new administrator and one was that the person have ties either to Indiana, or at least to the Midwest.  Also on the list of goals was that the applicant have at least five years of experience with a critical access facility, have experience with long-term care facilities (AHN owns two nursing homes and an assisted living unit facility), have experience with physician group practices, and with working with a county-owned hospital.
    "Those goals have significantly brought down the list of applicants and the board will be interviewing finalists along with the medical staff. We'll bring in the two finalists to meet hospital staff in March. The board is also fiercely behind the belief the hospital remains an independent facility with local control and community operation," Baird said.

Many changes     
    There are a great number of changes between the Adams Memorial Hospital of 1989 and 2011.
    Baird remembered when he took over there were approximately 150 nursing staff members and about 200 total employees. Today, there remain about 150 nursing staff members, with nearly 800 employees (nursing home,  Evergreen Court Apartments, and many medical office employees who were not in the 1989 total).
    Budgets were also considerably different, with the hospital operating on about $3 million in income in 1989 compared to an estimated $50 million this year. The ratio of 70 percent in-patient income to 30 percent out-patient income has now been almost completely reversed.
    The early years of Baird's stay were basically good ones because, he said, "The medical staff was very cohesive; we didn't have a lot of political agendas within the hospital, and we had a lot of support from the community. Economic development is a key to keeping the hospital under local control because more jobs will stay here," Baird affirmed.
    Several building projects have been completed under the Baird administration. The first project in the old hospital was a remodeling of the OB department and other projects since then include construction of physician offices in Berne, Geneva, Monroe, and two in Decatur, the new hospital, the Village of Heritage Nursing Home in Monroeville, the Paul and Kathryn Strickler Oncology Building, and a new EMS headquarters adjacent to the hospital.
    The Woodcrest residential facilities have seen a growth to 42 apartments and 36 villas and the hospital acquired the former First State Bank of Decatur building in downtown Decatur to house both the Home Health and volunteer departments, along with space for record storage.
    

  

    The Bellmont Squaws won the cross country invitational they hosted Wednesday...
    Concordia Lutheran backed up their number one ranking in class 3A on Tuesday...
   Tonight's volleyball contest at the Teepee invites the Concordia Cadets,...

 

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes