After working 26 years in health care education and administration and nearly 18 years with Mercy Health, MHPP Executive Director of Provider Services Kathy Clark will be retiring on Thursday, December 14, 2017.
In 2000, Clark joined the physician medical group when it was known as Advantage Health and had only 225 employees. Over time, her responsibilities and her titles changed. “As the organization began to grow and evolve, I was able to grow and evolve with it,” she stated.
Clark’s Career Progression
- Director of Human Resources
- Director of HR – Compliance
- Executive Director of Administrative Services (HR, contracts, benefits, compensation, risk management, integrity, joint commission compliance, etc.)
- Executive Director of Provider Services (Physicians and APPs)
Clark’s original plan was to retire when her husband did, nine years ago, but she wasn’t ready at that point. “I have worked in other health systems in our community. I can truly say that my job at Mercy Health has been a perfect match for me. I have enjoyed going to work each day.”
What makes Mercy Health different? Smiling, Clark responded saying, “The caring and compassion here, the sense of family, the connections you maintain after people retire, the friendships you make — these are all incredible gifts to our colleagues. It’s the job that brings you to Mercy Health, but it’s the culture and people that keep you here.”
Clark has been able to use her vast knowledge and experience to help “project manage” the regionalization that is taking place at Mercy Health Physician Partners. “We will be stronger as a unified region. I see nothing but continued success for the organization as opportunities broaden for both patients and staff,” she added.
Once Clark decided that she was ready to retire and spend more time with her four grandchildren, in 2015 she began to reduce her hours and plan for the future. “My HR background helped me think about succession planning for my own job,” Clark said.
As a result, she has worked closely with Michael Houttekier, director of provider contracts, helping to smoothly transition her knowledge regarding contracts, the largest portion of her many responsibilities.
In her role, Clark has worked with almost every Mercy Health physician in Grand Rapids, whether it involved recruiting, negotiating contracts or working with providers on committees.
“I know them, and I am ready to recommend Mercy Health’s providers to anyone who asks. I have no doubt that patients will get the best care here. I have truly enjoyed being able to say that the best health care occurs where I work.”