Porter hires new interim president
MIDDLEBURY— The UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center Board of Directors has hired a Wisconsin man with decades of experience running hospitals to lead Porter on an interim basis.
Thomas R. Thompson is the new interim president/chief operating officer for Middlebury’s PMC, which encompasses a hospital, nursing facility and physicians’ practices.
He replaces Dr. Fred Kniffin, who took over leadership of Porter on a temporary basis after Porter President and COO Seleem Choudhury abruptly resigned his position following complaints that he plagiarized parts of some Porter newsletters. Kniffin at that time agreed to lead Porter as president for a short period while a new interim leader could be put into place.
Thompson, who currently resides in Wisconsin, is expected to be on site at Porter by Feb. 3.
“As our organization prepares for a national search for our next president/COO, it was essential to have an experienced leader with demonstrated skills in operations, finance, strategy and employee and community relations, and we are so pleased to have found all of these attributes in Mr. Thompson as our new interim leader,” said PMC Board Chairman Sivan Cotel. “With the help of an experienced search firm, we reviewed many candidates, and a special search committee comprised of Porter and UVM Health Network board members and providers conducted both telephone and in-person interviews to find the very best candidate.”
Thompson has had a 37-year career in healthcare management and has served as the President/CEO of six hospitals from 1989 to June of 2019, when he completed his most recent role as the president of Regina Hospital in Hasting, Minn. (part of the Allina Health Network). While at Regina, Thompson led the organization in setting and achieving significant goals to enhance patient care, patient safety, patient satisfaction and employee engagement, and advanced programming in each clinical service line, including a new Cancer Center, Pain Clinic, and extensive telemedicine programming.
“What we are looking for in our new interim leader for Porter is to build upon the great work that is already under way and to contribute expertise and support for our strong management team and the clinical staff who provide outstanding care to our patients and residents every day,” said UVM Health Network Executive Vice President for Operations Al Gobeille. “We have some extremely important projects and initiatives planned for the coming year, and we wanted someone who could help guide our organization through these initiatives and also provide a steady hand as we conduct a thorough search for a new president for Porter to take us into the future.”
Thompson’s career has taken him to several medical centers in the Midwest, as well as a hospital in Washington state. He earned his undergraduate degree at Minnesota’s St. John’s University, where he as an all-American swimmer, and a Master of Public Health Degree at St. Louis University.
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