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Dana Engle to lead Madison County Hospital

Rocking Horse CEO credited with strengthening and expanding health center’s reach.

The man who in seven years as CEO helped to strengthen the Rocking Horse Community Health Center and expand its care for Clark County’s under-served will become CEO of London’s Madison County Hospital (MCH) Oct. 28.

Calling Rocking Horse “an absolutely fantastic organization” that “changed the way I view health care,” Dana Engle said his move is not about wanting to change jobs but the pull he felt to return to a hospital setting in a place that has “a strong, rich history.”

Engle is 49.

Rob Baker, chairman of both the Rocking Horse board and the search committee for Engle’s replacement, said the committee hopes to present two or three candidates to the full board “as soon as possible, maybe the first of the year.”

In a statement posted on its website, MCH Board Chairman Dr. Mitchell Spahn said, “We are excited to find someone with Dana’s experience in hospital and community health, a strong understanding of the Ohio health care market and proven leadership to head our organization.”

Signalling three areas of specific need, the statement noted Engle “has an impressive track record in physician recruitment and market share growth” and “is committed to gaining community trust and support at MCH.”

In a telephone interview, Spahn also mentioned Engle’s strong financial background.

“Ironically,” he added, “we conducted a nationwide search and found the strongest candidate in our own back yard.”

Dr. James Duffee, founder of Rocking Horse and head of its medical staff, said, “There’s nobody else who could have handled the financing of the new facility (that opened this spring)” and said that Engle’s community connections “have expanded our presence in the community in a really amazing way.”

“I suspect he’s going to do something in Madison County that is close to his heart,” said Duffee. “Madison County Hospital will benefit greatly from his leadership.”

Duffee added that Engle’s contributions to Springfield go back to 1998, when he became Chief Financial Officer for the former Community Hospital, then transitioned to Community Mercy Health Partners, where he worked until joining Rocking Horse in 2007.

“A lot of people thought he should have been considered for CEO of the new hospital,” said Duffee. “He’s held in high regard, particularly by physicians.”

Both Baker and Duffee said the experience at Rocking Horse appeared to deepen Engle’s sense of health care’s ultimate mission.

“He had a big heart when he came here,” Baker said, “and he’s got a bigger heart now.”

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