Dickinson CHI St. Alexius gets new president


A new president for a new decade.

William "Bill" Ermann has been selected to be the new president of Dickinson's CHI St. Alexius Health Medical Center.

Ermann, who is currently president and chief executive officer of Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, Kan., begins in the position on Jan. 27.

Ermann was chosen to lead Dickinson CHI St. Alexius for his executive experience and ability to balance strategic decisions and financial discipline with a compassionate, hands-on approach.

"He seemed to have the same patient satisfaction goals that we have," DeeAnna Opstedahl, vice president of patient care services, said. "We want to make this the place that patients want to come, and he's been through some training on that, so he was on the same page."


She added, "He's also had experience leading larger teams than ours, so we thought it would be an excellent time for him to come and help us."

Opstedahl described Ermann as being a pleasant person.

"He's kind of quiet, but he's very intelligent and very nice," she said. "He's easy to talk to."

Ermann received his master's degree in business administration from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, and his bachelor's of public accounting with an emphasis in managerial accounting from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo.

He has more than 22 years of experience in the health care field and has served in the area of finance as an accountant, controller, director of finance and chief financial officer.

Ermann will lead the hospital in achieving its many goals, Opstedahl said.

"We want to make sure that patients' billing gets fixed," she said. "We want to also make sure our patients have an excellent experience here. We want to make sure this is a place where staff wants to work, that we meet their needs, and he's all about that."

Among the president's duties are engaging with the public and being visible in the community, Opstedahl said.


"That's something he is known for," she said. "He volunteers a lot in is current location. He's also very involved in the community, which I think is important for a president."

Ermann has also served or participated on a number of professional boards, as well as local service and community organizations. He is a member of the Kansas Hospital Association Board, BCBS Advisory Committee and the current president of the Pioneer Health Network. He's a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He is also member of the Liberal Rotary Club and the Early Risers Kiwanis Club.

Former President Reed Reyman announced in July he was retiring to take on a new role at Altru Health System in Grand Forks. He had served in the position since 2009.

During the transition, operations at Dickinson CHI St. Alexius have been led by co-interim presidents Joseph Ruark, vice president of operational finance, and Opstedahl.

William "Bill" Ermann" (photo courtesy of Southwest Medical Center website)

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