Fong takes temporary helm at PSMC
Joe Fong, a program development director at Providence Alaska Medical Center, began serving as interim administrator at Providence Seward Hospital & Care Center on July 17. He replaces Seward Providence Hospital administrator Chris Bolton who resigned effective July 13, after serving as administrator of the hospital since December 2008 and as administrator at Seward Mountain Haven long-term care facility for most of those years. Bolton will relocate to Nome to become the chief operating officer at Norton Sound Health Corporation.
Additionally, Providence Health & Services Alaska is contracting with the B.E. Smith health care leadership recruiting firm to identify a consultant with critical access hospital experience to provide consultative services to Fong and Providence Seward.
Providence is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent facility administrator. Fong and the B.E. Smith consultant will serve in Seward until Nov. 1, when they expect to have the permanent facility administer position filled, said Providence media spokesperson, Ginger Houghton. The hiring process will include interviews with the Providence Seward management team, Providence Seward physicians, the Seward Health Council and Providence executives. The selected candidate will then be referred to the City of Seward for final approval.
Fong introduced himself to the Seward City Council at the July 16 meeting, and said he was excited to be helping out in Seward, where his wife enjoyed working in the summer as a college student. Fong became an administrative fellow for Providence in 2001 after graduating with a master’s in health care administration from the University of Minnesota, where he also earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. He served in a variety of roles related to quality improvement, auditing and Operational Excellence projects before joining Surgical Services in 2005 — first as perioperative business manager, then as director of the department, according to Houghton.
During his four-year tenure as director of Surgical Services, Fong helped lead the department through a variety of operational improvements as well as expansion of the robotic surgery program. He led the restarting of an OR RN fellowship program, and supported the formation of the Alaska Perioperative Consortium, a collaborative with other Alaska hospitals to train new OR nurses.