whms hires new CEO

WHMS Hires New CEO

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

ATKINSON, NE — After conducting a nationwide executive search led by healthcare leadership solutions firm B. E. Smith, West Holt Medical Services (WHMS) in Atkinson, Neb., has hired Ashley Rivera as chief executive officer. A skilled healthcare executive with more than 7 years of leadership experience, Rivera will assume his new role at WHMS on Monday, August 26.

“Ashley has a proven track record in leadership development, strategic planning and sound financial management,” said Trent Schaaf, president of the West Holt Medical Services Board of Directors. “Ashley’s experience, values and leadership style are a perfect fit for our hospital and community.”

Formerly, Rivera served as chief executive officer and chief financial officer at Kittson Memorial Hospital in Hallock, Minnesota. In this role, he provided operational and financial leadership to the rural critical access hospital. Previous executive positions include serving as chief executive officer and chief financial officer at We Care of Central Florida in Winter Haven, Florida, and chief financial officer at Central Florida Health Care Inc. in Winter Haven, Florida.

Rivera also teaches online graduate classes for Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Business Administration program.

Rivera is originally from Florida and got his first full time job in a hospital as a dishwasher. “I started from the very bottom and worked my way up,” Rivera says, “I wanted to help people and I knew I had to go to college if I wanted to have a bigger impact.” Rivera earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Rivera did not stop there; he went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in business administration at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Rivera is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Healthcare Financial Management Association. In 2018 he received the “40 under 40” Prairie Business Magazine Award, representing forty of the top business professionals under the age of 40 in the northern Plains.

Ashley and his wife Shannon have three daughters, ages 2, 4 and 7. The Rivera’s look forward to moving to Atkinson to raise their children in a small-town atmosphere and getting involved in community activities.

About the Hiring Process

During the past three months representatives from B.E. Smith spent extensive time meeting with the board of directors, department leaders, medical staff and employees to get a picture of the type of CEO that would be the best fit for the culture of the facility and the communities the hospital serves.

B.E. Smith utilized screenings specific to the needs of WHMS to narrow down a candidate list for the initial round of on-site interviews. Three candidates were selected to return for a more in-depth interview process with the entire board and hospital employees. Candidates and their spouses were also given tours of the Atkinson and Stuart communities.

After the interviews were completed, the board of directors enlisted those involved in the interview process to provide feedback to assist in the hiring decision. As a result, Ashley Rivera was selected as the new chief executive officer for WHMS.