SAGINAW, MI — Six months after the unexpected death of Diane Postler-Slattery, MyMichigan Health has a new director and CEO.
The MyMichigan Health Board of Directors has named senior vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Lydia A. Watson as president and CEO of MyMichigan Health effective Dec. 1, according to a MyMichigan Health news release.
Watson will succeed Greg Rogers, longtime health care administrator for the organization, who has served as acting CEO for the health system since Postler-Slattery and her husband, Don, died in a plane crash in northwest Florida in March. Rogers will serve in an advisory role to Watson for the month of December.
“Lydia is a well-respected and trusted leader in the industry and here at home. She has been instrumental in guiding our system through the pandemic, is a steadfast advocate for quality care and patient, employee and physician satisfaction, and accomplished in establishing and maintaining cultures of excellence,” Rogers said in a statement. “With her foresight and clinical background experience, she will play a pivotal role in the continued growth and development of MyMichigan Health.”
Dave Midkiff, MyMichigan Health board member and chair of the selection committee, added in a statement, “The process our team used to assess Dr. Watson’s qualifications was both objective and thorough. We believe that our Board’s unanimous support of Dr. Watson as our next president and CEO should reinforce confidence with our employees, our patients, and our communities that she is uniquely qualified to lead MyMichigan Health into the future.”
While serving with MyMichigan Health, Watson’s career has included roles as chief quality and patient safety officer, chief of staff, vice president of medical affairs, and board member of MyMichigan Medical Center Midland. She is on the MHA Physicians in Healthcare Leadership Council serving as chair in 2021-2022. Prior to joining the administrative staff for MyMichigan in 2013, Watson cared for thousands of women as a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist at the Medical Center in Midland. Before this, she was an active staff member at Saginaw General Hospital from 1988 to 1996.
Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, Watson received both her undergraduate and medical degrees from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Throughout her education period, she also served six years in the Army National Guard 207th EVAC Hospital of which she was honorably discharged as a captain in 1992. Today, she maintains her position as the assistant clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Michigan State University.
Watson is active in her community and currently serves on the Strosacker Family Foundation Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance/THRIVE Safety Taskforce, Midland 100 Women’s Club, as well as serves as medical director for the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program. She has also volunteered her leadership to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women event and the Midland Public Schools Sex Advisory Council. In addition, she is an author of several textbook chapters and co-author of a book. She also has received numerous accolades, including the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, and, most recently, the 2020 YWCA Woman of the Year in Healthcare Award. Watson is married and has two grown children.
“While MyMichigan Health has experienced much change over the past six months following the unexpected passing of Diane Postler-Slattery and her husband, Don, what hasn’t changed is the commitment and care provided to patients,” Jenee Velasquez, board chair, MyMichigan Health, said in a statement. “The leadership and direction provided by Greg, Dr. Watson and the entire leadership team has been nothing short of exceptional. Dr. Watson’s commitment to the health of our communities combined with her long-time leadership and respect for all those with whom she works will continue to strengthen this beloved health care system for generations to come.”
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