In Feb. 5 IssueBy Derek AaronNews-Register Editor
David Rasmussen just entered his second month as CEO of Russell County Hospital after taking over the position on Jan. 10.
Rasmussen is a man of vision and said he hopes to be in the position for the long haul, after relocating to Kentucky from West Tennessee.
Coming from Brownsville, Tenn., Rasmussen said he was intrigued by the Lake Cumberland area and cited the region and its opportunities as why he was interested in the position in the first place.
"I came from mostly farm country," Rasmussen said of Brownsville. "Their primary crops over there were cotton, corn and a little bit of soybeans. I've been impressed with the number of beef cattle here, more ranching than farming."
While the area has been covered with snow most of the time Rasmussen has lived here, he said he hopes once warm weather arrives he will be able to spend more time at the lake, rather than the unpacking of bags he has been doing every weekend since the move.
"We're waiting anxiously for a sunny day because we heard it was beautiful here," he said.
Rasmussen was selected after an extensive search and interview process that involved both the local hospital board of directors and senior executives of Louisville-based Alliant Management Services.
In terms of the hospital, Rasmussen said he has been impressed with physical facility and how well it has been maintained through the years.
"One of the things you always look for is how do the floors look," Rasmussen said. "Our floors are immaculate and they work on them all of the time."
He said those he now works with at the hospital are excited for the new leadership and the opportunities to grow that comes with it.
"They're excited about our building project going forward; they're excited about the care they provide to our patients," he said. "That is what I've been most impressed with."
Rasmussen brings an interesting blend of education and experience to Russell County Hospital, his experience as a CEO within the investor-owned sector of the healthcare industry and an impressive track record in physician recruitment should come in handy as the local hospital continues to grow.
Rasmussen served as CEO of Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville, Tenn. and McKenzie Regional Hospital in McKenzie, Tenn. Both hospitals are owned and operated by Community Health Systems in Brentwood, Tenn.
"I know we're not a 70 percent hospital but I believe we could be a 90 percent or even 100 percent," he said. "I believe we could be a standard instead of us looking upward. I know we have the staff to do it and that is what I'm excited about working to achieve."
He also said he hopes to improve patient satisfaction scores during his tenure. Now standing at 85 percent he is shooting for 90 percent or even higher as they look to provide maximum healthcare to their patients.
Rasmussen, who has always wanted to be involved in healthcare, received his Masters Degree in Health Service Administration from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from Idaho State University. He spent 20 years in Oklahoma working in hospital administration before moving to Tennessee five years ago.
Rasmussen is also board certified in Healthcare Management by the American College of Health Care Executives in Chicago.
Rasmussen said he and his wife, Deb, are very excited about joining the Russell County Hospital family getting to know the community better.
"Hopefully I'll be able to spend the next 20 years in Kentucky," he said.
The couple has four successful grown children who are all either in college or graduated with their degree.
In his free time, Rasmussen said he enjoys hunting and fishing and target shooting with his air rifle. He is also a black belt in Shidokan Karate and hope to get involved with some type of martial arts locally.
He invited anyone to give him a call at the hospital if they had comments, concerns or praises about the facility or the care they provide.
"I want them to know I'm accessible and if they have questions to give me a call," he said.