Phillips, DiPisa Finds New Leader for Spectrum Health

September 7, 2018 – Phillips, DiPisa & Associates, an executive search firm serving the healthcare and life sciences sectors, has placed the new president and chief executive officer for Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit health system in Grand Rapids, MI. Tina Freese Decker, who has been with Spectrum Health since 2002, assumed her new role last week. Phillips, DiPisa partner Michael J. Corey led the search along with partner Ira J. Isaacson and consultant Kathleen Lennon.

Ms. Freese Decker replaces Rick Breon, who announced his retirement last fall.

“I am confident that Tina is the right individual to lead this organization into the next era of healthcare, focusing on reducing the cost of care, enhancing the experience of our patients and members, and continuing to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Dick DeVos, chairman of the Spectrum Health System board of directors. “Tina is a true health care visionary who brings a deep understanding of Spectrum Health and West Michigan based on her tenure with our health system.”

During her 16 years at Spectrum Health, Ms. Freese Decker has developed a reputation for her forward-thinking strategies, sound business acumen, successful execution, authenticity and collaboration, said the health system. Most recently, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the organization.

Depth of Experience

Ms. Freese Decker has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2018 Top 25 COOs in Health Care, Managed Healthcare Executive’s 2018 Emerging Leaders, and Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Healthcare 2018, among other honors.

“Her unique breadth and depth of experience includes leadership roles in strategy and operations across the system,” said Spectrum Health. “She also is known as a change agent who has the judgment and experience to innovate and challenge the status quo, while thoughtfully understanding the community and Spectrum Health’s history.”


Phillips, DiPisa & Associates Finds CFO for Spectrum Health
Phillips, DiPisa & Associates placed Matthew Cox as the SVP and CFO of Spectrum Health. Partner Michael Corey led the assignment. Most recently, Mr. Cox was SVP of finance operations at Banner Health in Phoenix, AZ. “Spectrum Health has only had two CFOs in the past 20 years,” said Mr. Corey. 


Partnering will Phillips DiPisa, the health system’s board of directors conducted a national search for the role. The extensive selection process surfaced numerous qualified candidates and involved dozens of key stakeholders in the interviewing process. Spectrum Health interviewed eight candidates and narrowed the field to three finalists, said Mr. Corey.

The final candidates met with the search committee, the full Spectrum Health System board of directors, physician leaders and numerous community and business leaders.

Widespread Interest

“There was a tremendous amount of interest in the CEO role nationally, as it is a prestigious leadership role of a highly successful integrated health system,” said Mr. Corey. “This search required a sophisticated executive and a transformative leader that would continue Spectrum Health’s dedication to exemplary patient care, research, teaching and innovation.”

Bob Roth, Spectrum Health System board member and chair of the search committee, said that to find the best person possible it was imperative that the search process be as comprehensive and thorough as possible. “We were fortunate to have several highly qualified, accomplished individuals interested in this position,” he said. “Tina emerged as the best fit based on her deep understanding of health care and her forward-thinking perspective about the future of health and wellness.”

Ms. Freese Decker said she was excited about her new job. “I look forward to implementing new and innovative ways of meeting individuals where they are on their health journey to further advance their health and well-being,” she said. “I am very proud to work with such a talented group of physicians, clinicians, team members and partners who truly set Spectrum Health apart and dedicate their careers to our mission.”

Under Ms. Freese Decker’s leadership, Spectrum Health has focused on building community partnerships and implementing innovative solutions to address the health needs of the community it serves. She has been instrumental in restructuring Spectrum Health into the expansive, integrated health system it is today, said the healthcare system.

A Respected Recruiter

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that offers a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group. The organization is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees.

Phillips DiPisa, headquartered in Hingham, MA, is a retained executive search firm that exclusively serves the healthcare and life sciences industries. Founded in 1994, the firm is ranked as one of the top healthcare recruiting firms in the country. In addition to the Boston area, the firm has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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