When OhioHealth CEO David Blom first started working at the not-for-profit health system, Medicare was just rolling out DRG codes.
He's been with the Columbus-based system for 35 years, 16 of them as CEO. Next year, he plans to retire and spend more time with family. His successor will be another prominent OhioHealth administrator: Dr. Stephen Markovich, the system's current executive vice president.
"We still have another year to go," Blom said in an interview with Modern Healthcare. "What we're trying to do is have this transition be as seamless and as smooth as possible for the organization and our community. We want to do it in such a way that the organization will be sustained into the future."
Markovich, who until this week was the system's senior vice president of acute-care operations, will take over as CEO when Blom, now 63, retires on July 1, 2019. OhioHealth's board of directors voted Tuesday to name Markovich the next CEO.
OhioHealth's chief operating officer, Mike Louge, also plans to retire. After 18 years at the system, he'll step down at the end of 2020. Louge was the system's chief financial officer for much of his time there.
Blom currently serves on three boards, and said he'll continue to do so after his retirement. He's a director for the group purchasing and consulting organization Vizient; startup Healthy Roster; and Kimball Midwest, a maintenance and repair operations distributor. Aside from that, Blom said he plans to do more traveling, and will leave room for a meaningful project that's yet to be determined.
"All my advice has been, 'Plan enough to do, but not enough to fill your schedule because other things will emerge once people know you are available to help,' " he said.
During his tenure at OhioHealth, Blom said he's seen it move from a holding company to an operating company, one with a supportive culture and a great team. It has also nearly tripled in size under his watch.
"Part of the reason I'm leaving now is we're doing really well and it's a good time to transition," he said.
Blom said he's optimistic about the direction healthcare is heading. He believes price, quality and service will continue to play an increasing role in where people choose to get healthcare.
"I'm fully supportive of the transition to value," he said, "and I think we're heading in the right direction."
Markovich currently oversees acute-care hospital operations and has been with OhioHealth for 25 years. He trained as a family physician at Riverside Methodist Hospital, the health system's largest hospital, and then went on to hold a number of administrative and educational positions. Before moving to OhioHealth's corporate office, he was president of the Riverside hospital for four years.
Markovich told Modern Healthcare he plans to continue the trajectory the health system is on.
"We're trying very hard to make care more understandable, to make it simpler, to make it more affordable and to make it more accessible," he said. "I think the major projects and strategies and tactics we're putting in place around that, we would continue those."