Community Hospital names Beth Tharp as new CEO

Thu, 2012-07-12 09:20 -- univcomm
July 12, 2012

Anderson University alumna Beth Tharp AS '80, MBA '05 was named president and CEO of Community Hospital Anderson on Tuesday.

Tharp has worked at the hospital since 1980, when she was hired as a staff nurse. She has served as vice president of Patient Care Services over the past 13 years.

She was selected after a nationwide search, and will take on her new role later this year.

“I’m thrilled about the appointment, I’ve been a part of Community my entire life and career,” Tharp said.

A native of Anderson, Tharp graduated from Anderson High School. She received her RN and MBA degrees from Anderson University.

Her father, Dr. Ralph Reynolds, was an anesthesiologist and a member of the original medical staff of the hospital. She said it was he who convinced her to come back to Anderson after finishing nursing school.

Tharp said she hadn’t planned on spending her entire career at the same hospital, but that’s how it worked out.

“It’s such a special place, there were endless opportunities for me to grow and take on more responsibility,” she said.

She will replace outgoing CEO Bill VanNess, who announced his retirement last October. VanNess has served as CEO of the hospital since 1997.

VanNess will stay on at the hospital as Tharp transitions into her new role.

“(VanNess) has been a wonderful leader, he’s laid a tremendous foundation that will lead us into the future,” she said.

A benefit of the hospital hiring internally, Tharp said, is that she has the experience and connections to make it a smooth transition in leadership.

Over the 32 years she’s been at the hospital, Tharp has played a role in growing the hospital’s obstetrical services to include about 70 percent of births in Madison County. She also helped in the creation of the hospital’s Clinical Research Center and Center for Advanced Wound Healing.

In a release, Madison Circuit Court 6 Judge Dennis Carroll, who chaired the hospital’s search committee, said Tharp demonstrated a firm grasp of the hospital’s operations, a vision for the future, familiarity with national health care concerns, and a commitment to community engagement.

“Within our existing leadership team, we have found, in our judgment, the right person to lead our hospital into the future,” Carroll said in the prepared statement.

Going forward, Tharp said she plans to continue to grow the hospital.

“I want to keep us at the forefront of new technology, and stay on the cutting edge of health care,” she said.

One of the aspects of the new role Tharp is looking forward to is being more involved in the community.

“Before, my duties were more operational, it was difficult to get involved in the community as I would love to do,” she said.

— Sam Brattain is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission. Photo credit: John P. Cleary / The Herald Bulletin.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.