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Gross named CEO

By Johnna Young • Updated Dec 1, 2017 at 3:45 PM

Matthew C. Gross, of Norwalk, has been named CEO of the Fisher-Titus Health system, according to Dennis Doughty, vice chairman of the Fisher-Titus Health board of directors.

Effective Dec. 1, the appointment follows a board decision to restructure the organization’s top post of “president and CEO” into two separate positions: chief executive officer (CEO) of the Fisher-Titus Health system and president of Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

“During the past two months, the board of directors has worked to identify the best possible organizational structure in relation to replacing Lorna Strayer, who announced her plans to retire as president and CEO of Fisher-Titus in October,” said Doughty.

In the health care industry, the scope of responsibility for CEOs has grown significantly, specifically in the management of system entities and external affiliations, according to Doughty.

“This is certainly true at Fisher-Titus in light of the large number of businesses added to the health system over the past three years, including many new practices to the Medical Care Group; the addition of a retail pharmacy location with Kaiser Community Pharmacy; and changes at North Central EMS,” said Doughty.

“Additionally, our involvement in the Ohio River Basin Accountable Care Organization, Vantage Healthcare of Ohio, and expanded services with our affiliate partners have added business complexities to the CEO role.”

As Gross assumes this new position on Dec. 1, the search for president of the medical center will continue with the goal of naming a new president by spring 2018 when Strayer retires.

“As CEO of Fisher-Titus Health, Matt will oversee the entire system organization and entities with focus on financial performance, strategic initiatives, and key business relationships,” Doughty said. “The future president of Fisher-Titus Medical Center will concentrate on and manage hospital and medical center operations, quality, safety and medical ancillary performance.”

Doughty said the board believes that having Gross in a transitional CEO role now will provide the opportunity for him to work with Strayer until her retirement, and will ensure a stable transition for medical center and health system employees to this new leadership structure.

“We are pleased that Matt has accepted this appointment,” Doughty said. “We are confident that he will bring his extensive business background, his keen understanding of our local community, and his familiarity of the Fisher-Titus family to successfully lead us through this transitioning period.”

Gross has served on the Fisher-Titus board of directors for nine years and as chairman for the last 3 1/2 years.

As the new CEO, Gross will be resigning from the Fisher-Titus Health board of directors. The board will realign responsibilities to fill his vacancy and role as chairman.

Doughty added that the board believes this segmentation of business and clinical focus will better position the organization for managing the constant change of today’s health care market and allow Fisher-Titus to remain a high performing independent community hospital and health system.

“As the entire health-care world continues to shift from the hospital-centric care-delivery model into a system approach of enhancing our ‘population’s health,’ we continue to maintain our long-held belief that the best model for providing access to health care occurs when decisions are made locally about how our hospital and health system support our community.”

Gross has served in numerous leadership roles on Fisher-Titus Medical Center-affiliated boards and committees for the past nine years, most recently as chairman of the Fisher-Titus Health system board. During his tenure, he has been involved in facility and plant construction projects valued at $50 million, assisted in restructuring the health system and board governance, and lead numerous board committees including finance, quality, and strategic planning. He also was active on the national level as a member of the American Hospital Association Committee on Governance and is currently a member of the Governance Institute.

During a business career that spanned 30 years, Gross held numerous executive leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. He retired from RR Donnelley/Moore Wallace as president of North American sales in 2008.

Over the years, Gross has shared his business acumen to numerous community organizations, serving in board leadership roles for St. Paul High School advisory board, Stein Hospice Services and Senior Enrichment Services of Huron County. In addition, he has been active in fundraising endeavors for the Norwalk Area United Fund and Ducks Unlimited. He is a 40-year member of the Norwalk Elks Club.

A native of Norwalk, Gross and his wife, Lori, reside in the city.

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