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Conner takes the reins at Skiff Medical Center

Published: Thursday, April 13, 2017 9:32 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2017 1:30 p.m. CDT

With only a couple of weeks on the job, new Skiff Medical Center President Laurie Conner is already right at home in Newton. Conner, who officially started in the position on March 19, previously worked at Skiff during its transition and integration to become a Mercy Health Network hospital.

“In a way it has felt like coming home, coming back to a group of people I worked with for 14 months,” Conner said. “It has been rewarding to get to know the physicians at the Newton Clinic a little bit more and just to begin to strategize where do we go from here.”

Conner served as the lead representative of Mercy Medical Center and Chief Administrative Officer during the initial assessment and integration process in 2014 and 2015. She also filled the interim president role following the resignation of previous president Brett Altman, who left to join the Cass County Health System in Atlantic as CEO.

“I had quite a few of the managers report to me, and I was able to meet a lot of people there and see the breadth and depth of the skill sets and felt they were talented and hardworking team,” Conner said.

Prior to her work at Skiff, Conner served nine years as CEO at the Dallas County Hospital in Perry and worked as the administrator and vice president of Mercy West Lakes. There she built the team and operational processes for Mercy’s new West Des Moines hospital.

“I have worked at other hospitals that have needed some financial stability, and I have had some influence in turning those institutions around,” Conner said. “I have done a great deal in leadership development and team building and I think those skills will be very helpful because the people here have been through a lot of change.”

As Conner begins her tenure as the head of the hospital, she is working to form goals and future plans to move the institution into the future. 

“We continue to meet the needs of the community by offering services that are needing, to continue to highlight Skiff as a center of excellence for the size of hospital it is and just work to  build upon a very solid family environment for the employees and giving them a great place to work.”

New services added to the hospital include home sleep studies, a bone health clinic in partnership with Iowa Ortho Clinic and a chronic lymphedema program in the rehabilitation department.

“Skiff is certainly a gem in the community,” Conner said. “I feel Newton is a very nice community and to have a hospital of this caliber is certainly a blessing for the city.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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