Springfield's biggest employer picks new leader

By Matt Sanctis - Staff Writer

Springfield’s largest employer has hired a new leader just weeks after its previous president and CEO announced plans to retire.

Matthew Caldwell will be the new president and CEO of Community Mercy Health Partners, which is part of Mercy Health, the largest nonprofit health system in Ohio and fourth-largest employer in the state.

Community Mercy is the largest employer in Clark County with more than 2,600 worker, according to Chamber of Greater Springfield estimates.

He will begin on Dec. 5, replacing Paul Hiltz, who announced his retirement earlier this month after a 30-year career at Mercy Health.

Caldwell couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday but said in a statement he plans to continue with commitments the hospital made during Hiltz’s tenure, including to the nonprofit downtown development organization SpringForward.

That organization started this year and is focused on targeting investments on existing properties to revitalize the city’s urban center.

Caldwell pointed to recent investments in downtown Springfield and said he will continue to be an advocate for the city when he takes on his new role.

“I hope to build upon the great relationships that Paul Hiltz has created in the community,” Caldwell said in a statement. “I’m impressed with the momentum that I’ve seen, such as EF Hutton relocating to downtown Springfield. Mercy Health committed $1 million over the next five years to revitalize the urban core. We will fulfill that commitment to SpringForward.”

Hiltz served the community well during his time at Community Mercy, Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said, and quickly having a replacement in place will be helpful.

“I’m very optimistic the new man will proceed in the same direction as Paul Hiltz, with positive medical care for the community,” Detrick said.

Caldwell most recently served as CEO at Tennova Healthcare Lebanon in Tennessee, where he has served for the past four years. He has a master’s degree in health-care administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a bachelor’s in nursing from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.

At his most recent position, Caldwell was responsible for improving physician relationships, as well as patient and employee satisfaction.

“I’m very excited to be joining a great Mercy Health organization,” Caldwell said in his statement. “I’m looking forward to carrying out our mission in Clark and Champaign counties and surrounding areas. We will continue the ongoing journey to increase patient satisfaction and increase the number of health-care providers in our community.”

Community Mercy is a regional health-care system serving Clark and Champaign counties and surrounding communities. The organization operates the Springfield Regional Medical Center and Springfield Regional Cancer Center in downtown Springfield, as well as Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana.

It also operates senior health and housing facilities, and a variety of outpatient and outreach services.
Caldwell began his health-care career in nursing and has experience in critical care, recovery room, orthopedic post-operative care and case management. He has also served as CEO of the Dallas Regional Medical Center in Texas, a hospital that was ranked first in patient safety in Dallas County, according to information from Community Mercy.

By the numbers

2,600: Approximate Community Mercy Health Partners employees
$1 million: CMHP committed to SpringForward over the next five years to revitalize the urban core
30: Years Paul Hiltz spent with Mercy Health, including as CEO of CMHP in Springfield