Bryan Health has tapped the head of its physicians network to take over as chief of its Lincoln hospitals.
Lincoln's largest medical system has announced that Eric Mooss on Jan. 1 will become CEO of Bryan Medical Center, the entity that oversees its Bryan East and West Campus hospitals and will also oversee the April Sampson Cancer Center when it opens next year.
Mooss, who is an Omaha native and graduate of Creighton University, joined Bryan in 2015 as president of Bryan Physician Network, which he helped grow from 11 practices with fewer than 30 providers to 23 practices served by more than 150 providers. Since 2019, he also has been vice president of operations for Bryan Medical Center.
Mooss is replacing John Woodrich, who has been president of Bryan Medical Center since 2009 and added the CEO title in 2019.
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Woodrich, who also is executive vice president of Bryan Health, will add the title of chief operating officer and transition to day-to-day oversight of Bryan's six hospitals and all of its clinics.
In addition to Lincoln, Bryan runs hospitals in Central City, Crete, Grand Island and Kearney.
"As we've grown across the state, this role really allows John to move into a true system COO and allows us to put some structure and support around Bryan Medical Center, East and West," Mooss said.
His role, he said, is to "create environments for people to take care of people."
Mooss said that can be everything from making sure staff, patients and visitors have places to park to having enough staff to take care of people.
He takes over at a time when Bryan's profile has been raised thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The health system has cared for more than 3,800 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in less than three years, many of those from outside Lincoln.
Mooss said that has raised Bryan's "leadership role" in the state's health care landscape.
"What kind of shocked me about being here, when people are anywhere from Alliance to Falls City to McCook and they need a higher level of care, more often than not the option is to come to Bryan," Mooss said.
"That's a huge honor and opportunity that we have, and I think that only became more amplified as a result of the pandemic."
On the other hand, the pandemic also amplified challenges, including workforce issues, Mooss said.
Not only has Bryan struggled, like other hospitals have, to find enough workers, it's also had to pay more, whether for salaries for permanent employees or increased spending for traveling nurses and other temporary workers.
That, combined with other increased expenses, as well as supply chain and capacity issues, has made this the first year since Mooss has been at Bryan "that we've really been challenged financially pretty significantly."
He believes he's up to that challenge and others, and so do the people responsible for hiring him.
"The Bryan Medical Center Board of Trustees understands future growth and unrelenting demand for highly specialized and seamless care will require innovative and visionary leadership," Shannon Harner, chair of the Bryan Medical Center Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
"Eric has demonstrated this time and time again throughout his career. Additionally, the relationships he has developed with the medical staff as president of Bryan Physician Network give the board great confidence that Bryan Medical Center’s reputation for collaboration with providers will flourish.”
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