Who: Dr. Nicholas Wolter, 69
Retiring as: CEO of Billings (Mont.) Clinic in January after 19 years leading the integrated, not-for-profit system. Wolter took a planned medical leave of absence effective immediately to undergo minor medical procedures. Dr. Randall Gibb, the clinic's chief medical officer, was named interim CEO.
Background: Wolter first joined Billings Clinic in 1982 as a critical-care pulmonologist. He was named CEO in 1997, four years after Billings Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center merged.
Promoting growth: Under Wolter's leadership, Billings Clinic expanded to become Montana's largest healthcare provider. The system includes a 393-bed hospital with a Level 2 trauma center, clinics and a 90-bed skilled-nursing facility. About 4,200 physicians and other staff are employed at Billings, up from 2,100 when Wolter took the helm.
Pursuing partnerships: Billings has teamed with several healthcare organizations, including the Mayo Clinic. In 2013, Billings joined Mayo's Clinic Care Network, a collaboration that includes more than 40 healthcare organizations. In an interview with Modern Healthcare, Wolter said partnerships offer two key benefits: “One, we believe it is the right thing to do because it stabilizes healthcare; and two, as a business strategy, if healthcare is strong in the region, we'll benefit as the tertiary facility they refer to.”