Geary Community Hospital Hires New CEO

By: Geary Community Hospital Press Release
By: Geary Community Hospital Press Release

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. -- Gary Drake, chairman of the Geary Community Hospital Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Joseph A. Stratton of Burlington, Colorado, as the administrator and chief executive officer of Geary Community Hospital, effective January 1, 2013.

Stratton succeeds David K. Bradley, who served in this capacity for 17 years until his retirement on September 1, 2012. Chief Operations Officer Alice Jensen, JD, RN, has been serving as acting CEO.

Stratton was the candidate of choice of the search committee, lead by Drake, as well as the hospital board of trustees, after a thorough search process. He is currently the CEO of Kit Carson County Health Service District, in Burlington.

“Dr. Stratton brings over 20 years of healthcare and education administration experience to our hospital,” Drake said. The majority of these years have been in the healthcare system/hospital administration as a chief executive officer and senior executive in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado, both in behavior and medical healthcare. “We are pleased that he and his wife Peggy are excited about moving to Geary County,” Drake said. “He’s a good fit for the hospital and community and an exemplary leader.”

His educational background includes a diploma from Salina South High School in Salina, Kan., a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from the University of Northern Colorado in 1981; a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Kansas State University in 1984; and a Doctorate of Business Administration and Management from California Southern University in 2002.

He is a Fellow of The American College of Healthcare Executives, which is the same as board certification in healthcare administration. He was a key leader in the founding of the Kansas Association of Healthcare Executives (KAHCE), serving on the board of directors as well as vice president and president. His leadership was vital in the formation of a scholarship in healthcare administration for graduate students in Kansas.

Currently, Stratton sits on the Colorado Hospital Association Board of Directors and is the association’s board chairman for the Workers’ Compensation Trust. He held the position of vice chairman of the State Legislative Council, is a member of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and an active member of Rotary.

He taught as an adjunct professor at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, in both the Masters of Business Administration and undergraduate business classes. He also instructed in business for Cloud County Community College, Concordia, Kansas.

Stratton’s career included 15 years of experience at two nationally renowned Episcopal agencies dedicated to troubled-challenged youth: St. John’s Military School and The Saint Francis Community Services, both in Salina, Kan., from 1996-2003. It was after a corporate restructuring at the latter named institution that in 2003, he became the Director of Behavioral Health for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which is the third largest Native American health system in the country. Although he was very successful in his endeavor with the Choctaw, he migrated back to Kansas and has focused on his passion of rural healthcare administration and leadership.

He accepted the position of chief executive officer of The Sheridan County Health Complex in Hoxie, Kan., where he worked until 2009 before moving to Burlington to take on his present position as CEO of Kit Carson County Health Service District.

Dr. Stratton and his wife Peggy, also a K-State graduate, have three adult children: Michael, a K-State student in Manhattan; Max in Avon, Colo.; and Abigail, a K-State graduate currently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Strattons enjoy time in the garden, camping and being around their many animals.

“Peggy and I wanted to move back to the Flint Hills, so when the opportunity at Geary Community Hospital came up, I jumped at it,” Stratton said. “I had met David Bradley at KAHCE meetings and knew of the good reputation of the hospital and the community. I’m very excited to meet everyone and to build on the success already experienced at GCH.”

Stratton possesses many core competencies necessary to be a successful leader in rural healthcare, especially in system-wide quality improvement initiatives and the development of healthy organizational cultures. He is methodical in decision-making, with great care given to the best choices for the organization and those it serves. He firmly believes in teamwork, respect, understanding, execution and dedication.


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