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Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital CEO to Retire


After a rewarding 21-year career, Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) CEO Tom Lemon has announced his retirement effective April 30, 2021.  Lemon joined OMH in late 1999, relocating from northern Illinois.  

Lemon led a variety of initiatives at the hospital, including two major master plan enhancements to the campus.  Between 2004 and 2007, a 30,000-square-foot expansion and renovation project was completed for the intensive care unit, radiology, laboratory and rehabilitation areas, including the addition of a pool for aquatic therapy.  The area’s first fixed MRI was also installed in 2007. The most recent project was a 32,000-square-foot expansion and renovation for the emergency department, ambulatory care and central processing departments.

Lemon was instrumental in the development of the OMH Medical Group, growing the practice from six to more than 60 providers, featuring family practice, internal medicine, general surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics and urology.  The medical office building that houses providers in the OMH Medical Group in Gaylord was completed in 2002. Recent market expansion included additional clinics to serve the broader OMH community.  The 10-chair Oncology and Infusion Center near the hospital campus was created to allow patients to remain close to home for diagnostic and treatment therapies for cancer and other conditions requiring infusion.  

“When OMH became fully integrated with Munson Healthcare in June of 2018, my primary goal was to help our organization make that transition as smoothly as possible. That goal has now been achieved.” Lemon said. “I believed strongly at that time, and still do, that this was an important step in strengthening both OMH and healthcare in northern Michigan. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced many challenges to us as a healthcare organization, it has also highlighted the importance of family and friends more so than any other time I can remember. As my wife and I have been reflecting on our lives, it has become apparent to us that we need to be closer to family.  Earlier this year we made the decision to move forward with the next phase of our lives.  Working for Munson Healthcare and OMH has been the highlight of my career and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities provided to me both professionally and personally.”

Throughout his career, Lemon has served in a leadership capacity with several national, state, and community organizations including the Gaylord Chamber of Commerce, Otsego Economic Alliance, M-TEC, American College of Health Care Executives, Michigan Health and Hospital Association, and the American Hospital Association Region V Policy Board.

“I’d like to recognize Tom for his leadership and dedication. Throughout his career, Tom has always been committed to doing what is in the best interests of his patients, his team, and his community — and the thoughtful planning and timing of his announcement demonstrates this commitment.  We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Tom for so many years, and for his ongoing collaboration to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.” said Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare.

In addition to his role as CEO of OMH, Lemon serves as Munson Healthcare’s East Region president, where he has oversight of Munson Healthcare Grayling and Charlevoix Hospitals.  In this capacity he works closely with the leadership teams at the regional and system level to further enhance the delivery of healthcare services in northern Michigan. 

Munson Healthcare has been working closely with its local entity and regional boards, executive leadership teams, and physician leaders throughout the executive search process, and will continue to do so in order to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. More information and updates will be provided to the community as information becomes available.  

“Otsego Memorial Hospital has been very fortunate over the past 21 years to have Tom Lemon as our CEO and also assuming the position of the East Region President for the Munson system.”, said Mary Sanders, Munson Healthcare OMH Board of Trustees Chair.  “During the years many improvements and innovations have been accomplished. Tom has been very dedicated to the promotion of quality healthcare being provided in our community and the region. His work ethic, his professionalism, and his attention to detail are amazing. His vision and forward thinking approach has served us well. Tom has always been held in high esteem and his service and dedication have been so valuable. Tom is an outstanding leader who is highly respected and we wish Tom the very best in the future. He will be missed.”

Upon his retirement, Lemon plans to relocate to southwest Michigan to be closer to family.  In his leisure time he hopes to return to Nordic skiing, training to compete in the American Birkebeiner, a 50-kilometer marathon race held annually in Wisconsin.