New faces in health care leadership

Nurses, doctors and clinicians are on the ground floor, caring for patients’ health and helping their families navigate the process. Their expertise and dedication are the foundation of our regional hospitals. But without leadership, there would be no system for those nurses, doctors and clinicians to operate under.

The guidance of health care leaders is what keeps our region’s health care systems running smoothly. And what keeps them doing what they do best: Care for our health.

Here, we get to know a few of our region’s more-recently appointed leaders in health care.

Joel Sander MSPT, MBA
Vice President – Primary
Care Services
Saint Francis Healthcare System
Started New Position: 2023
Hometown: Gordonville, Missouri

Background: Sander joined Saint Francis as a physical therapist in Outpatient Rehabilitation in 2003. He transitioned to manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation in 2007 and was promoted to director Orthopedic Service Line in 2015. After a few years in that position, he was promoted to vice president of Saint Francis Medical Partners North in 2022, then transitioned to vice president Primary Care Services in 2023.

What are you most excited to do in this role?

I am extremely grateful to have an opportunity to support an outstanding group of providers and colleagues in delivering on our mission of serving patients and the community. I am most excited about working to remove barriers that impede our providers from delivering care and prevent our patients from accessing care. Seeking health care can be challenging, even scary at times, so continually improving how we engage our customers is very meaningful work.

What are you most optimistic for in the future?

On the heels of the pandemic, the health care industry has seen challenging times, but it is also an exciting time. With new methods and technologies that will allow care to be even more accessible and convenient, health care is likely to look much different 10 years from now than it does today.

The opportunity to be part of designing what that future looks like is both humbling and energizing. I am optimistic that we will be able to care for even more people when and where they need or desire services. At the heart of what we do is caring for our community.

Heather Nanney, RRT
Director of Respiratory Care, The Sleep Institute & Pulmonary Rehab
Missouri Delta Medical Center
Started New Position: 2022
Hometown: Sikeston, Missouri

Background: Nanney started her career as a respiratory therapist at Missouri Delta Medical Center (MDMC) and has been there ever since. She worked the night shift for seven years, serving as the night shift supervisor for the Respiratory Care Department. In March 2020, she became the respiratory therapist for the Missouri Delta Pulmonology Clinic. She worked in that role for two and a half years before accepting the director of Respiratory Care position last October.

What are you most excited to do in this role?

When accepting the role of director of Respiratory Care, I was most excited to be back in the hospital full-time. I love being back with my Respiratory family. We have always been a very close department, and I’m so grateful to lead our team in all that they do.

Making sure everyone in my department is happy is a huge thing for me, and I feel I have done a great job accommodating everyone’s needs. Having a leadership team that cares about each employee as much as they do about the business side of things is vital. I have also loved getting the Respiratory Care Department more involved in our community through career fairs and health fairs at local businesses. We’ve also led demonstrations on the world of respiratory to high school health occupation classes.

What are you most optimistic for in the future?

Looking at the future, I am most optimistic for the growth of respiratory care. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, few people knew what a respiratory therapist was or what we do, but that has all changed. Respiratory therapists are a vital piece to the health care team, and our career field is growing.

The team of respiratory therapists at MDMC always goes above and beyond to provide each patient with excellent care. Over the last few years, I have seen respiratory therapy expand beyond the role of bedside care at MDMC. Having respiratory therapy in the pulmonology clinic and assisting the pulmonologist in procedures are two great examples. As the “world of respiratory” grows, I am so excited to lead my crew of amazing respiratory therapists down new and exciting avenues.

Clyde Wood MSPT, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center
Started new position: 2023
Hometown: Weaubleau, Missouri
Background: Wood began his career in health care as a physical therapist in Branson, Missouri. He also served in the United States Army Reserves from 1991 to 1999. Wood transitioned to health care leadership after receiving his master’s in health care administration from Missouri State University.

Prior to taking his position as CEO at PBRMC in August, he served as CEO for Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Previously, he served as market president for Lake Norman Regional Medical Center and Davis Regional Medical Center in North Carolina, along with multiple executive roles with increasing responsibilities for three different Tennova Healthcare hospitals in Tennessee.

Wood is not a stranger to PBRMC, as he worked in the hospital from 2006 to 2009, ultimately serving as chief operating officer before he left for other opportunities. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

What are you most excited to do in this role?

I am excited about supporting and working with the medical staff, clinical teams and support staff on advancing health care services for the patients and community we serve. We have a great team at PBRMC, and I am very proud to be part of it again. In the short time that I have been back, I have been extremely impressed and energized by the level of dedication and commitment I have seen in advancing quality, safety and patient experience.

What are you most optimistic for in the future?

We have a strong core of key individuals and service lines supporting the medical needs in our service area. I am optimistic and passionate about growing and developing services to serve our community on a greater scale.