After 25 years at the helm, Samaritan Health Services’ President/CEO Larry Mullins will step down in December and move to a new part-time role as part of a transition to semi-retirement. Doug Boysen, who currently serves as Samaritan’s Chief Administrative Officer, will become the new President/CEO in January.
“Larry was instrumental in forming Samaritan Health Services 20 years ago and he has provided tremendous vision and leadership throughout his 25-year tenure with the organization,” said Loren Roth, Samaritan’s board chair. “We could not have envisioned then all that we have been able to accomplish under Larry’s leadership, and our entire region has benefited from what has happened here.
“We are equally fortunate to have a highly-qualified successor in Doug Boysen, who is already in the organization and will help ensure a smooth leadership transition,” Roth added. Boysen — who served as General Counsel and held other administrative responsibilities at Samaritan from 2006 to 2014 — returned in 2015 as Chief Administrative Officer.
“Larry has built an amazing organization at Samaritan, and I know I have some big shoes to fill,” Boysen said. “I appreciate the trust and confidence the board has placed in me, and I have learned a great deal from working with Larry over the past 10 years. Samaritan is a great organization with world-class providers and staff. I look forward to partnering with the communities that we serve to build healthier communities together.”
When Mullins was hired in 1992 as the CEO of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, the hospital employed about 700 and the regional health system that is now Samaritan Health Services did not exist.
Five years later, as health care costs and challenges continued to grow, Mullins helped lead a five-year process that brought together the region’s five free-standing community hospitals to form Samaritan Health Services. (In one community, Newport, the Pacific Communities Health District continues to own the hospital while Samaritan operates the facility under a long-term agreement.) Today, the system employs more than 5,000 and comprises hospitals, physicians and health plans.
“Twenty years ago, I said I believed the formation of Samaritan Health was a ‘win-win’ for our communities and would allow us to achieve both cost savings and enhance services in a number of areas,” Mullins said. “That statement holds true today.”
In his new role, Mullins will lead the Samaritan Solutions Institute, an annual series of multi-day leadership sessions for health care and business leaders nationwide. The Institute, which was established earlier this year, focuses on economic development, policy issues and organizational change and takes place at Boulder Falls Center in Lebanon. The part-time position will allow time for Mullins to consult, teach and pursue other areas of interest.
“Although I am going to greatly miss the tremendous people and the unique opportunities posed by my current position, I’m also looking forward to working on these new activities,” Mullins said. “I hope to continue to contribute in a positive way to the overall health and vitality of our region.”
During Mullins’ tenure, Samaritan experienced tremendous growth and development including the establishment of a multi-disciplinary Health Sciences Campus in Lebanon that includes a medical school (operated by Pomona-based Western University of Health Sciences), Linn-Benton Community College’s new Health Occupations building, a hotel and conference center, SamFit fitness facility, medical office buildings and several other businesses.
Samaritan also earned national accreditation to serve as a training site for physician residents, with nearly 200 doctors now completing the final phase of medical training at Samaritan-affiliated facilities.
In addition, a number of new clinical programs were established to allow residents to receive care closer to home, including cardio-vascular surgery, neurosurgery, inpatient mental health, comprehensive cancer care and integrative medicine. In partnership with Oregon State University, Samaritan built a sports medicine center on campus that provides physical rehabilitation services and specialized sports performance programs for the university and general community.
Mullins and his wife, Barbara, have been active community leaders and philanthropists, supporting efforts to enhance outreach efforts to local veterans and strengthening education and awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention.
In 2003, the Samaritan board established an endowed scholarship in Mullins’ honor to recognize his completion of a doctoral degree in health care administration, which he earned while continuing his full-time job at Samaritan. Mullins’ scholarships are awarded annually to students pursuing health-related careers.
Mullins has served in numerous local, state and national leadership roles during his tenure with Samaritan. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and received a Lifetime Leadership Award by the Oregon Health Forum. He was named CEO of the Year by the Health Academy of the Public Relations Society of America.
Locally, he received the Robert C. Ingalls Business Person of the Year award from the Corvallis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Business Leader of the Year award from the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce.
“These days it is rare for an executive in any field to remain with one organization for 25 years,” Roth said. “We are indeed fortunate that Larry chose to spend the bulk of his career with Samaritan.”
Samaritan will recognize Mullins for his years of service to the organization at an event in Corvallis this fall.
Information and photos provided by Samaritan