WEST BURLINGTON – The public is invited to an open house celebrating the career and retirement of Great River Health System President and CEO Mark Richardson. It will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Pzazz! Convention and Event Center, 3001 Winegard Dr., Burlington.
Richardson joined the health system in April 1997, three months before the groundbreaking for Great River Medical Center and two medical office buildings. Besides overseeing continued growth, he is credited for changing the culture of one of Iowa’s largest independent hospitals and health systems.
“Mark’s leadership has allowed us to remain one of the strongest health systems in Iowa. He did what we wanted him to do, and he did it better than we expected,” said Bob Fleming, who was president of Great River Health System’s Board of Directors when Richardson was hired. He remains on the board.
One of Richardson’s early goals was making Great River Health Systems the “employer of choice” in Des Moines County. Under his leadership, the number of employees grew from 1,014 to 2,350, and the health system has placed high in the rankings of the Des Moines Register’s annual Top Workplaces survey since 2013.
Richardson helped establish Great River Health System’s Community Endowment Foundation, which has awarded more than $1.5 million to organizations in its five-county service area to foster health-related services that may otherwise not be available to communities. In 2015, the health system pledged $1 million for the continuing development of Southeastern Community College’s Health Professions Center.
Before joining Great River Health System, Richardson was named one of 10 Outstanding Minnesotans. He was Mississippi Valley Council Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2007, and he received the Iowa Hospital Association’s Excellence in Leadership Award in 2014.
A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Richardson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa. Earlier in his career, he was hospital administrator for DeWitt Community Hospital, Dewitt, Iowa; Jane Lamb Health Center, Clinton, Iowa; and North Country Health Services, Bemidji, Minnesota.