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President and CEO of Community Hospital Anderson announces plans to retire at the end of 2012; Hospital and network boards focus on transition and search for successor

For release on October 14, 2011

Anderson, IN---William C. VanNess II, M.D., has announced plans to retire from his role as president and CEO of Community Hospital Anderson, part of Community Health Network, effective December 31, 2012. Dr. VanNess, who joined the medical staff of Community Hospital Anderson in 1973 as a family practitioner, has served as president and CEO at Community Hospital Anderson since 1997.

Since taking the helm at Community Hospital nearly 15 years ago, Dr. VanNess’ contributions to the hospital and to the community have been numerous and exemplary, helping others to share his passion for caring for, and about, the community.

“Community Hospital was built by the community, for the community,” explains Dr. VanNess. “My focus has been 100% on doing the right thing for all of our customers. My vision has been to care for common but serious healthcare needs uncommonly well. This calls for ensuring we provide high quality clinical outcomes accompanied by high customer satisfaction. By all measures, we have accomplished these goals.”

Prior to his current role, Dr. VanNess maintained an active practice while holding many positions at Community Hospital Anderson, from president of the medical staff in 1979, to chairman of the departments of internal medicine, pediatrics and family practice throughout the 1980s. He also served as a physician member of the Community Hospital Anderson Board of Directors from 1983 to 1989. In addition, he has served the medical profession in various positions. In 1993, he was president of the Indiana State Medical Association, and previously served as president of the Madison County Medical Society.

Community organizations have always been important to Dr. VanNess, as well. He presently serves on the Executive Committee for Madison Health Partners and the Indiana State Department of Health, along with being a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Economic Development, Madison County Education Coalition. He is also a member of the Anderson Rotary Club and Madison Way. In 2002, Junior Achievement inducted Dr. VanNess into the Madison County Business Hall of Fame.

An innovative and proactive leader, Dr. VanNess has helped Community Hospital Anderson distinguish itself in Madison County and Central Indiana in a number of areas:

  • Establishing the first clinical research center in Madison County, which participates in 15 national and international clinical trials on both pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  • Only cardiovascular program in Madison County regularly performing cardiac interventions
  • daVinci robotic surgical program, offering urology, gynecology, abdominal and chest surgeries
  • High volume outpatient medical oncology program
  • Successful, busy Center for Advanced Wound Center, with >76% healing rate
  • Free standing Community Center for Digestive Center
  • Active hospital foundation
  • Implemented new IT system in 2009, currently at stage 5 HIMSS (only 6.1% hospitals at this level)
  • Long Term Care Division with three free-standing nursing homes plus the only free-standing Alzheimer’s living facility in Madison County
  • Award-winning OB services, caring for 70% of deliveries in Madison County

“We enjoy a terrific ‘family’ culture that has been a key to our success,” acknowledges Dr. VanNess. “With this strong culture, I believe the hospital is well positioned to survive and thrive well into the future.”

“All of us at Community Hospital Anderson appreciate and salute the many accomplishments of Dr. VanNess during his tenure as our president and CEO, which will continue through next year,” said Michael L. Baker, chairman of the hospital’s board of directors.  “For the past 14 years, Bill has worked tirelessly to guide and inspire our physicians and employees in the relentless pursuit of quality and patient-centered care. Through his unwavering passion for medical excellence, compassionate care and innovation, he has greatly enhanced the standard of care enjoyed today by Madison County residents.”

“Given the advanced notice Dr. VanNess has provided us regarding his retirement, the board can now begin planning for a seamless transition, beginning with the appointment of a search committee to identify both internal and external candidates,” Baker said. “Our intention is to have a final candidate selected by mid-2012 so that Dr. VanNess will have the opportunity to work with that individual and pass the baton to his successor.”

Community Hospital Anderson became affiliated with Community Health Network in 1996, and thus part of one of the most integrated health care systems in the country. “We recognized at the time that Community Hospital Anderson was a keystone in the provision of quality healthcare in Anderson and surrounding communities,” noted Community Health Network President and CEO, Bryan Mills. “We greatly appreciate the leadership and support that Dr. VanNess has provided in making this unique partnership a success over the past 14 years, and want to thank him for his many contributions to the network, to Community Hospital Anderson, and especially to the residents of Madison County who have benefited from his vision and commitment.”

About Community Hospital Anderson
Community Hospital Anderson is an acute care hospital with over 1400 employees which is well known for providing an exceptional patient and family experience for the residents of Madison and surrounding counties. As noted above, Community Anderson provides a full range of medical services.

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in access to innovative and compassionate healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, in convenient health pavilions and doctor’s offices, in the workplace, at schools, in the home and online. As a non-profit health system with multiple sites of care and affiliates throughout Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, acute care and specialty hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, home care services, walk-in care centers and employer health services. To put the needs and the convenience of patients first, Community pioneers advanced treatments and world-class health information technologies, with a focus on ease of access to exceptional care.


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations