Health system names COO of hospital group


Gwen Sandefur. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A veteran health care executive from Indiana is the new chief operating officer of a health system’s hospital group. 

Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids said yesterday that it has named Gwen Sandefur to the role, effective Aug. 3.

She will report to Christina Freese-Decker, president of Spectrum Health Hospital Group.

The COO position has been open since last July when Lisa Shannon accepted a position in Kentucky, according to Susan Krieger, media relations consultant, Spectrum Health.

The role

Sandefur will lead daily operations for Spectrum Health Grand Rapids and additional responsibilities include oversight of the development and implementation of long-term goals and objectives.

Freese-Decker said the organization is pleased to have Sandefur provide leadership and coordination of operations for inpatient and outpatient aspects of the hospital facilities and service lines in the area.

“Her skills and experience will be invaluable as we work together in our mission to provide seamless, high-quality health care in the communities we serve,” Freese-Decker said.

Health care background

Sandefur recently served as the EVP and COO at St. Mary’s Health, in Evansville, Ind., and president of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Previously, she served as SVP of strategic development and regional operations at St. Mary’s Health System/Seton Health Corporation and worked for St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis.

Sandefur holds a B.S. in public health from Indiana University and an M.H.S.A. from the University of Michigan. 

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