ThedaCare Board Leader Updates CEO Search

Reputation Leads Candidates to ‘Top Job’ Opportunity

The ThedaCare Board of Trustees narrowed the field of applicants for the new ThedaCare president and CEO from eight to three. The three finalists are from outside the healthcare system, and have not worked previously for ThedaCare, said John Davis, Chairman of the Board.

Dean Gruner, MD, president and CEO of ThedaCare since April 2008, announced his retirement plans in October 2016.

"When Dr. Gruner announced his retirement, we hired a national executive search firm to look for internal and external candidates, and formed a search committee made up of Board members, physicians and community members," Davis said. "ThedaCare is nationally respected and the search has drawn many experienced and qualified candidates. ThedaCare has a unique connection with the community and continues to attract top doctors and nurses from across the country. We are also attracting very talented candidates nationally for the ThedaCare ‘top job.’"

"The Board and search committee are confident in our direction, and believe we have selected the most qualified candidates from a competitive pool of applicants," Davis said. "The healthcare industry is complex and changing. We are committed to hiring the most qualified candidate who will continue to lead ThedaCare into the future and improve the health of the communities we serve."

The final round of interviews will begin in March and candidates will remain confidential. The transition to the new president and CEO is planned for spring 2017.

In addition, the Board, which met Tuesday, decided to make further decisions regarding the next generation medical center after the new CEO is in place, Davis said. "We aren’t ready to make this decision yet and we would like the input of the new CEO as part of the process," he said. "We remain focused and committed to moving this exploration forward."

In February 2016, the ThedaCare Board approved a long-term exploration of facilities throughout the ThedaCare nine-county service area, and the facilities’ ability to meet the communities’ expectations for outstanding health care into the future. That includes the possibility of bringing together the system’s two Fox Cities hospitals into one premier, regional health care destination that provides the highest quality health care at the lowest cost for generations to come.

Dr. Gruner began in healthcare 40 years ago, has served this community for 33 years, and has served as president and CEO of ThedaCare since April 2008. Under his direction, ThedaCare became the largest healthcare provider in Northeast Wisconsin, and the largest locally based employer, with 6,700 employees, seven hospitals, 32 clinics and other healthcare services covering nine counties.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.