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Hospital executive named up & comer


AMES – When Kimberly Russel, Mary Greeley Medical Center president and CEO, recently presented her nominee’s qualifications for Modern Healthcare magazine’s 2003 Up & Comer awards competition, she was faced with the task of describing how one person’s attributes are exhibited in a variety of roles.

Last week, Brian Dieter, vice president and chief financial officer at Mary Greeley, was singled out for the versatility he brings to his job when he was named as an “Up & Comer” by the trade publication, one of 12 nationwide selected from a record pool of 150 nominees.

“He wears the CFO hat, but he is able to look at the big picture,” Russel said in a written statement. “He inherently understands the community impact of our medical center’s decisions and actions. He can see much further beyond a balance sheet or profit-and-loss analysis.”

Dieter said he was surprised, but honored to receive the recognition. He credits the staff at Mary Greeley for their ability to do their job and help provide solutions to problems.

“I work with a great team,” Dieter said. “I don’t have to have all the answers because they do a great job.”

Prior to joining Mary Greeley in 1999, Dieter served for 10 years in a variety of roles at Ancilla Systems in Indiana. Before what, he worked for four years in public accounting for Ernst & Young as an auditor specializing in health care. A native of Elkhart, Ind., he received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his master of business administration degree from the University of Notre Dame.

“Brian has accomplished so much in a variety of settings in his career,” Russel said. “He has used his experience in health-care finance as a backdrop for leadership in many other areas of health-care administration.”

Among the projects Dieter has been instrumental in guiding are: the selection and implementation of a new computerized information system; the completion of the new four-story, 72,000-square-foot North Addition to the hospital in May; the development of a three-year strategic plan through 2005; and the redesign of Mary Greeley’s investment portfolio in response to a change in state law that was implemented in 2000. “I don’t forget that CFO is my title, but I think more organizationally,” he said.

Dieter said Mary Greeley is large enough to be diverse, but small enough to ensure personal care for its patients, physicians and staff.

“We’re a flexible organization that is the right size,” he said. “There is lots of opportunity and experience here. It’s the best of both worlds.”

For instance, Dieter said, he was able to tackle the task of updating the hospital’s computer system while demonstrating its effectiveness to each department. When he arrived in 1999, Mary Greeley’s computer system was designed to assist with billing, but it didn’t provide documentation for patient care. Dieter said he wanted to update the system so that it would benefit doctors, too, which in turn, would benefit patients. The much-needed system upgrade, he said, will go live Nov. 1 and will provide clinical functionality.

“That problem is somewhat typical in the health-care field,” he said. “We found a system that could benefit both worlds through an integrated approach. This system will help caregivers complete their documentation and reduce the burden of paperwork. Over time, its benefits will be realized as it impacts the level of care we provide.”

Though he is proud of what the Mary Greeley staff has accomplished thus far, Dieter said he wants to continue to set new goals for the hospital.

“I want to build on what we have, which is an outstanding tradition of care to the community,” he said. “We also want to continue to develop specialty care.”

As for his role at the hospital, Dieter said he wants to continue to challenge himself.

“I want to get better at what I do and be seen as a person who wants to meet challenges and does a good job at meeting them,” he said.      A 10-year survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Dieter applies the same philosophy to his personal life. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters.

“I try to balance everything,” Dieter said. “There’s more to life than just work.”

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