Welcome Kathy Johnson, Interim CEO

The Appleton Area Health Services (AAHS) Board of Directors are pleased to announce the hiring of interim CEO Kathy Johnson.

Johnson brings with her over 40 years of experience in the health care industry. She has worked in every stage of nursing, beginning her career as a nursing assistant. She then moved on to become an LPN, RN, assistant
nurse manager, director of nursing (DON), chief operating officer (COO), and finally a chief executive officer (CEO).

She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, a fouryear degree in organizational management and communication from Concordia, St. Paul, and is a certified health care executive through the University of Minnesota Independent Study Program.

Johnson retired as CEO of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dawson in October of 2015. During her time as CEO in Dawson, she was recognized at both the state and national levels for quality and service excellence. Just as she was about to retire, Johnson Memorial was recognized nationally for financial stability.

Since her retirement, Johnson opened her own company, Dynamic Advantage LLC. Through her company, Johnson’s goal is to mentor CEOs who are struggling. She has also done some education through a webinar for the National Rural Health Resource Center on the cost of turnover and the value of feedback from your employees.

Active in her community, Johnson has served on the Dawson Development Committee, and been a member and president of the Dawson Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she serves as president of her church, Crossroads Lutheran Congregation in Dawson. She has also served as president of Medi-Soda and the Lac qui Parle Health Network. Johnson and husband Dwayne have two children, a son and daughter; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “Dwayne and I put in a huge garden and can until we are crazy,” she said with a laugh. “We have a huge yard that looks
like a park.” Dwayne is a retired chef, and every Wednesday night the couple volunteers to cook for 70 to 100 people at Crossroads Lutheran Congregation for the AWANA program. During her spare time, Johnson enjoys crafts, primarily crocheting, but also a little embroidery. Lately she has been enjoying working with water colored pencils.

Johnson is not new to AAHS. She served as interim CEO for 10 ½ months in 2012. “This is where I want to be,” she said of AAHS. “We have a lot of good people here at the facility and in the community. As a facility we need to earn the community’s trust back, and the community needs to support us if they want a health care facility in their community.” “Appleton is in a crisis right now,” Johnson continued, “but we will turn it around. In my experience, if we concentrate on employees, quality of service to the community, and the culture, all the other financial stuff falls into place.” Johnson believes in being transparent, and invites anyone with questions, concerns, and ideas to visit with her. “I will tell you the answers, if I know it, and if not, I will find out. At times there are things I can’t share. For instance, when an employee leaves they are free to say anything they want, but we at the facility cannot. I will tell you, ‘I know that, but I can’t share it with you,’” concluded Johnson.

Residents can find Johnson at her office at AAHS (just ask at the front desk if you need directions), by phone 289-1580, or via email: kjohnson@aahsmn.org.

Article Credit: Leslie Ehrenberg of The Appleton Press
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