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UnityPoint Health Announces Leadership Transition

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WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, April 27, 2020 – After more than 20 years of dedicated service to UnityPoint Health, Kevin Vermeer has chosen to step down as President and CEO to pursue other opportunities effective April 30, 2020. As UnityPoint Health continues to confront the COVID-19 crisis, the organization remains dedicated to serving our patients and community. Sue Thompson, MS, BSN, Senior Vice President of Integration and Optimization and CEO of UnityPoint Accountable Care, has accepted the UnityPoint Health Board of Directors’ request to serve as interim CEO as a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

Vermeer accomplished a great deal in various regional and system leadership roles, including as CFO in the Waterloo and Quad Cities regions and as CFO and then Chief Strategy Officer of the System, before assuming the role of CEO more than four years ago.

He was instrumental in developing many initiatives during his tenure with UnityPoint, including shaping our population health strategy, negotiating the Joint Operating Agreement with UW Health, forming partnerships in the Care Financing area, and forming a common set of values throughout the organization with the creation and implementation of the FOCUS values.

“We greatly appreciate Kevin’s leadership and service over the past 20+ years,” said Randy Easton, chairman of the UnityPoint Health Board of Directors. “Continued strong, innovative leadership is critical now more than ever before and we are fortunate to have Sue Thompson taking the helm during this time of transition. She is well-prepared to effectively and compassionately steer our system through this time. With deep knowledge of our local communities and as a leader in protecting rural healthcare, she will serve our patients, physicians and staff well as we move forward.”

In addition to her many years of experience as a bedside nurse, Thompson brings to the role more than 30 years of extensive leadership experience at UnityPoint Health in regional operations and clinical performance improvement. Most recently, she has played an integral part in UnityPoint Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and previously served as CEO of the system’s Fort Dodge region.

“UnityPoint Health’s top priority has always been—and continues to be—providing high-quality care to our patients and communities,” said Thompson. “That commitment is unwavering in this extraordinary moment. I'm proud to work alongside such a dedicated team of healthcare providers and staff across the Midwest. Together we are committed to serving our patients and keeping our communities healthy."

The UnityPoint Board of Directors will launch an extensive national search for a permanent CEO over the coming months.