Theodore Townsend, Jr., president and CEO of UnityPoint Health™ - Cedar Rapids and interim president and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Dubuque, has announced his plans to retire December 31, 2018. His retirement will conclude 39 years in the health care industry and 16 with UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, one of UnityPoint Health’s founding affiliates.
UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids Board of Directors has named Michelle Niermann as Townsend’s successor. Niermann currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and has held numerous senior positions within the region since she started as an administrative fellow in 1994.
Townsend became UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapid’s president and CEO in 2002. Before arriving at UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, Townsend spent 17 years at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and held numerous leadership positions such as senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer. He joined Geisinger in 1985 as vice president of public affairs.
“Ted Townsend is someone who fosters lasting change, mobilizes people and resources for the greater good of the community,” said Bill Prowell, board chair, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids. “His impact and mentoring has been substantial. He has made meaningful and lasting changes that will truly make a difference in Cedar Rapids for generations.”
During his tenure in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids grew to its present size, which includes 194 healthcare providers, 33 clinics and more than 4,000 team members. UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids consists of St. Luke’s Hospital, 33 UnityPoint Clinics, Jones Regional Medical Center, AbbeHealth, MedLab and Living Centers East and West.
Under Townsend’s leadership, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids earned IBM Watson’s Top 100 Hospital ranking seven times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018), was designated one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals six times by Truven Health Analytics, ranked as the third best hospital in Iowa according to U.S. News and World Report, named one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review five times and has achieved Magnet recognition for Excellent in Nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center twice.
“Under Ted’s steady and visionary leadership, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids has increasingly thrived,” said Kevin Vermeer, UnityPoint Health, president and CEO. “Ted has helped lead the region in moving from volume to value-based care in terms of service delivery transformation and has helped enhance healthcare access in the Cedar Rapids market.”
Today, Townsend is a charter board member for Cedar Rapids MedQuarter and Iowa HealthCare Quality Collaborative, board member with the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance, board of trustee with Waypoint and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
A native of Michigan, Townsend is a graduate of the Western Michigan University and earned his degree in healthcare administration from Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2006, Townsend received the Department of English, Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Michigan University.
Niermann will assume the position of UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids president and CEO starting January 1, 2019