The president and CEO of a regional health care system is retiring after nine years of service.
Paul Spaude will continue to work in his leadership role at Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, which is part of the Catholic system Ascension Health, until September to assist in a smooth transition as the organization looks for a new president and CEO, said Jim Devlin, chair of the board of trustees, Borgess Health, on Tuesday.
Spaude, a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives, assumed the role at Borgess Health in 2005, and prior to the position, he was chief administrative officer of the Aspirius health system in Wausau, Wis.
Spaude announced his decision to step down during a board of trustees meeting at Borgess Health — to spend more time with his family and his father who’s critically ill.
“For the past nine years, my wife Karen and I have been honored to be a part of the Borgess Health heritage and a remarkable community,” Spaude said. “Borgess Health team members and area residents have been wonderful to me and my family.”
The decision to step down from his role at Borgess Health was difficult, but, ultimately, Spaude felt the need to support his family.
"It is just a wonderful area, a wonderful community to live in and to have dear friends in, but, on the same token, my father does have a terminal illness, and I really felt the need to go back and support him and my mother."
Devlin said the system is “very sorry to see Paul Spaude leave.”
“Paul has always put the Borgess Health Family first,” Devlin said. “Now he puts the vital needs of his father first.”
Borgess Health said that during his leadership, Spaude helped create the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine through community relationships, grow outpatient care services through the creation of the Stryker Center, Borgess Health Park and Borgess Gardens.
The creation of the 130,000-square-foot Stryker Center and the 65,000-square-foot Borgess Health Park in Battle Creek are part of the consolidation of care at Borgess Medical Center, according to Patrick Dyson, executive vice president, Borgess Health.
“We have truly appreciated his significant work within Borgess Health and also with those in the community, such as the positive, collaborative relationships needed to help create the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine,” said Patricia A. Maryland, president of health care operations and chief operating officer, Ascension Health.
Linda Root, vice president of Mission Integration within Ascension Health, said the leader of Borgess Health maintained close relationships with the system's associates and patients.
“He instituted such meaningful activities as morning greeting sessions at the entrance to Borgess Medical Center and daily safety huddles that take place each day throughout Borgess Health,” Root said.
Spaude participated in leading the consolidation of the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region as part of his community involvement and serves on the boards of the Family Health Center and Southwest Michigan First.
Spaude said the opportunity to collaborate with WMU on the medical school was an exciting opportunity, but he said his biggest accomplishment was having clinical excellence recognized at the Borgess Heatlh.
"I think what drew me to Borgess over nine years ago now . . . I just saw wonderful physicians, clinicians, nurses and just a spirit of wanting to provide clinical excellence and compassionate care," Spaude said. "At the end of the day, it is all about serving patients and families as effectively as we can possibly do it. That clearly was my forefront — what really has kept me very excited and motivated day in and day out to serve in a leadership role here."
Borgess Health serves residents in 10 counties and provides a range of services: cardiovascular, neurosciences, orthopedics, vascular surgery, primary care, women’s health and more.
The system received a Distinguished Hospital award for clinical excellence in 2014, which recognizes hospitals performing in the top 5 percent of the nation.