Paul Hiltz, CEO of Community Mercy Health Partners, will retire at the end of this year.

Leader of Springfield’s biggest employer to leave at the end of year

A local leader credited with leading one of the region’s largest employers and efforts to revitalize downtown Springfield will retire at the end of this year.

Paul Hiltz, president and CEO of Community Mercy Health Partners, will step down Dec. 31, hospital officials confirmed Monday. Hiltz joined CMHP in 2013 and has been with Mercy Health, the largest health system in Ohio and fourth-largest employer in the state, since 1985.

He will continue to lead the organization’s daily operations until a new leader is in place and will serve as a consultant into 2017, according to information from the company. The organization plans to name a new leader within the next month, said Dave Lamb, a spokesman for Community Mercy.

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“It has been my pleasure to have worked with so many caring and dedicated leaders, employees, volunteers and members of the community,” Hiltz said in a statement. “I know we will continue to make a difference in the lives of the patients and the residents we serve.”

Along with his role leading the Springfield Regional Medical Center, local leaders said Hiltz has also been active in the community, including serving as a co-chairman of SpringFORWARD, a nonprofit formed to revitalize downtown Springfield.

“He’s been an outstanding community asset, both him and his wife,” Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said. “He’s been on everything from SpringFORWARD to numerous other commitments … and this is kind of executive that Clark County needs. I’m sorry to see him go.”

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Hiltz took over as interim CEO in 2013 after Mark Wiener, the organization’s former president, resigned at the end of 2012. Hiltz was named as the hospital network’s permanent leader in 2013.

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.

CMHP is the largest employers in Clark County with more than 2,600 employees, according to Chamber of Greater Springfield estimates. It’s a member of Mercy Health, the largest nonprofit health system in Ohio.

It’s not clear what his exit means for several organizations he serves in Clark County, but other local leaders hope he stays involved, said Mike McDorman, president and CEO of the Chamber of Greater Springfield. Along with SpringFORWARD, Hiltz also served as a member of the Chamber of Greater Springfield’s board of directors.

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“Our community has experienced many ups and downs with Mercy Health leadership over the decades,” McDorman said. “This time with Paul was definitely the best our region could ever hope for. He simply got it. Corporately he has built an incredible network of friends who were willing to help Springfield.”

Among his other accomplishments, Hiltz was credited with leading a fundraising effort for the Community Mercy Foundation to purchase a mobile mammography unit to serve Clark and Champaign counties. He was also credited with positioning Mercy Health to work in partnership with Medicare as an Accountable Care Organization.

Hiltz’s personality made him more successful locally, Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said. Some executives may have tried to manage the organization from afar, he said, but that wasn’t the case with Hiltz.

“He quickly moved here and lived here and became involved in our community,” Bodenmiller said.

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