Heartland announces new interim leader after resignation of former CEO

photo by: Ashley Golledge/Journal-World File Photo

The entrance to Heartland Community Health Center, 346 Maine St., Suite 150, is shown Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

Heartland Community Health Center announced a change in leadership Tuesday night after over two weeks of declining to state who was leading the nonprofit.

Heartland will now be led by an interim CEO, Julie Boden Schmidt, who was asked to serve in the role by Heartland’s board of directors, according to a press release. Boden Schmidt previously served as an interim CEO for Heartland in 2018 and 2019, board member Devon Kim told the Journal-World. Kim is the past board president.

The nonprofit’s former CEO, Robyn Coventon, resigned to “pursue new professional opportunities,” the release stated. Kim said there were no issues of financial wrongdoing related to the departure of Coventon.

Kim said that Boden Schmidt began serving as the interim CEO on Monday. She declined to answer when Coventon resigned, but Kim said the nonprofit was never without a CEO. The Journal-World began asking Heartland who was leading the nonprofit on April 1. Heartland did not respond to the Journal-World’s inquiries.

This was not the first time there was secrecy surrounding the nonprofit’s leadership.

In March of 2018, Heartland’s previous CEO, Jon Stewart, was suspended from his position after a unanimous vote from Heartland’s board of directors. Heartland never made clear the reason for Stewart’s departure, despite multiple inquiries from the Journal-World.

Heartland is a federally qualified health center that serves Douglas County and surrounding areas with primary medical care and other health services and assistance programs. The federal designation makes Heartland eligible for significant amounts of public funding. Many of Heartland’s patients are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise medically underserved. The clinic offers a sliding scale of fees to make health care more affordable.

Brad Koehler, president of the board, said in the release that though the nonprofit is going through a leadership change, “I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our health center.”

Heartland is currently in the midst of a multimillion-dollar construction project for its new office, which is set to open on Sixth Street in the fall. In the release, the nonprofit announced a $3 million capital campaign to support the renovation project. Heartland also recently merged with Panda Pediatrics, a local pediatric and adolescent health care facility.

“The Board of Directors recognizes the dedication displayed by the newly merged staff of Heartland and remain excited for the meaningful work that is ahead of us,” Koehler said in the release. “We (as a Board) have the utmost confidence in Julie’s leadership to help Heartland make forward progress on our strategic initiatives and community-wide partnerships.”

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