Ely hospital names new CEO; Michael Coyle led critical access health care facility in South Dakota

by Tom Coombe -

As Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital bid farewell to longtime administrator John Fossum, it is welcoming the facility’s new chief executive officer.
Michael Coyle has been tabbed by the hospital board to replace Fossum, who is retiring in early-2018 after a 20-year stint in charge of the community’s hospital.
Coyle was among three finalists to interview for the post in late-November, and hospital board member Kelly Klun told Ely-Bloomenson shareholders Monday, during the hospital’s annual meeting, that a job offer had been made.
It was official the following afternoon, and Coyle is set to come to Ely from Sisseton, S.D., where he was chief executive officer of Coteau des Prairies Healthcare System.
EBCH board vice president Butch Diesslin said, “He was the best candidate of the ones who were interviewed. There was a subcommittee of the board that did the interviewing. Everyone that he met at the hospital was pleased with his outgoing nature and his expertise that he had exhibited in his answers to their questions and the questions he asked them.”
“I found him to be very pleasant, knowledgeable and concise. I know he’s been to the Ely area a number of occasion for canoe trips and he’s looking forward to living in the area,” said Diesslin.
Coyle led both a 25-bed critical access hospital, which operates multiple clinical locations, as well as a 64-bed long term care facility.
Previously, Coyle led a health care facility in Atkinson, Neb., and was director of marketing and public relations for Murray County Medical Center in Slayton, Minn.
“My wife and I are very excited to relocate back to Minnesota and become part of a thriving community with lots to offer,” Coyle said in a news release announcing the hire.
“Our goal is to help the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital grow, be an essential part of the community and become the health care provider of choice in the region.”
Coyle emerged from a process coordinated by an executive search firm on Ely-Bloomenson’s behalf.
Klun told shareholders Monday that the firm vetted between 25-30 candidates for the job, with three ultimately interviewing before a local search committee.
Rochelle Sjoberg, the hospital’s human resources director, said she was impressed by Coyle’s qualifications and what he’ll bring to Ely.
“I am very excited to have Michael become part of the EBCH family,” said Sjoberg. “I think his leadership and management experience will provide great growth and a strong strategic direction for EBCH’s future. I also think Michael and his family will be wonderful additions to our community.”
In almost two decades at the helm, Fossum has overseen a series of changes at the hospital, from the Ely clinic’s move to the hospital campus shortly after his arrival to a more recent remodeling and modernization initiative.
Klun said Monday that “it’s hard to see John go. The new CEP has some big shoes to fill.”