Health system CEO stepping down


Richard Breon. Courtesy Spectrum Health

The president and CEO of a West Michigan health system has announced his retirement.

Spectrum Health’s Richard Breon will retire, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the leader of this outstanding health system during a time of intensive growth and innovation,” Breon said. “I am confident that Spectrum Health is well-positioned for the future. We have a strong mission, a clear vision and engaged people who are dedicated to the success of the organization and the communities we serve.”

Breon has led the locally governed nonprofit health system since 2000, three years after it was created by the merger of two Grand Rapids community hospitals: Butterworth Health Corporation and Blodgett Memorial Medical Center.

Spectrum Health started as a $710-million organization; in the upcoming fiscal year, it will generate more than $6 billion in revenue.

Beginning with 7,500 employees, the organization now employs more than 25,000 people. The organization encompasses 12 hospitals, 180 ambulatory and service sites and the Priority Health insurance company.

The Spectrum Health System Board of Directors will engage an outside firm for an internal and external search for Breon’s successor.

“Under Rick’s leadership, Spectrum Health has been a leader in changing the face of health care, but more important, the organization has changed the paradigm of what’s possible when it comes to care for patients and families right here in West Michigan,” said Dick DeVos, chairman, Spectrum Health Board of Directors. “Rick is a remarkable leader, who has led Spectrum Health through a transformational time that will impact generations to come.”

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