Bottles Hits The Road


    GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center has begun to adjust to the absence of Dr. Kent Bottles as its leader. Spectrum Health was just getting used to having Bottles as its vice president of research and medical education. But now the health care professional is leaving Grand Rapids behind entirely.

    Bottles has accepted an offer to become the chief medical officer for the Iowa Health System, a $1.7 billion organization with 12 hospitals in Iowa and western Illinois. As for his start date, Bottles said during a phone interview last week, “I am, as we speak, on Highway 80 driving west.”

    Likewise, when asked about any future involvement with the West Michigan health care scene, Bottles’ response was straightforward.

    “I’m moving to Des Moines,” he said.

    Bottles had been in his position with Spectrum for just over two months. Shortly after he started, the position with Iowa Health System became available.

    “This opportunity arose several weeks after he had accepted the position with us,” said Spectrum spokesperson Bruce Rossman. “We appreciated the work he did on behalf of MERC and wish him good luck in his new position.”

    In the brief phone conversation with the Business Journal, Bottles did not express regret over leaving Spectrum or Grand Rapids, but instead focused on the job ahead of him.

    “It’s just a very big challenge and a really great career opportunity for me,” he said.

    Before taking the vice president position with Spectrum in February of this year, Bottles had served as the president and CEO of GRMERC since 2002. During his career in medicine, Bottles has been a pathologist, professor of pathology, director of residency programs, and administrator at several universities and health systems. He was on the faculty of both Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University.

    Rossman said that Spectrum has already begun the search for Bottles’ replacement, as this position is “integral” to increasing the scope of Spectrum’s future research activities.    

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