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October 24, 2021

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“I realize its importance in the fabric of the Bluffton community. It’s perfectly suited for the community.”

Icon talks with Myron Lewis, Blanchard Valley Health System's new president and CEO

Blanchard Valley Heath System’s new president and CEO, Myron Lewis’s first taste of Bluffton was a container of Shirley’s Popcorn.

“I’ve visited Bluffton and was struck by the attractive downtown,” he said, adding that his daughter purchased a giant container of Shirley’s Popcorn for him as a Christmas present – sadly, the container is empty he admitted.

The new president and chief executive officer of BVHS talked via Zoom with the Icon earlier this week. He replaces Scott Malaney who has retired.

The talk touched on everything from Bluffton Hospital to covid’s next 12 months and its effect on hospitals and health care, just for starters.

Lewis says he is impressed with the many community partnerships in the service area of the Blanchard Valley Health System. “The partnerships really make this area attractive,” he added.

Concerning Bluffton Hospital, Lewis said he is impressed with its staff and services. “I realize its importance in the fabric of the Bluffton community. It’s perfectly suited for the community.”

“Health care locally is ideal for patients,” he said, referring to Bluffton Hospital’s rural location. “And it pulls patients from outside Bluffton.”

The covid-19 pandemic has forced many health care challenges nationwide and Blanchard Valley Health Systems is feeling those effects.

One of those is the moving of services and staff around. In mid-December BVHS combined in-patient Bluffton Hospital and Blanchard Valley Hospital obstetrics to the main Findlay campus.

The move was to increase bed capacity systemwide, as well as maximizing staff availability in the pandemic response.

Lewis could not say how long the OB situation will remain, saying that over the next year the hospital will continue to adjust and to change with covid.

“One thing covid brings to health care is that health care access now comes in many forms, citing virtual care that is happening more and more,” he said.

“The availability of the vaccine gives us some hope,” he said, noting that  Blanchard Valley Health System initiated distribution of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers at Bluffton Hospital last week.

Additional deliveries of the vaccine are expected  for Bluffton healthcare associates. BVHS is not providing the vaccine, only distributing it within the health system according to state and federal guidelines. Community residents who are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine should speak with their primary care provider .

Lewis, and his wife, Lisa, a registered dietitian, have two grown children. Hanna is a junior at Grand Valley State University majoring in social work and Sydney is a freshman at Butler University majoring in psychology/neurosciences.

In his spare time, Lewis is an avid cyclist who also enjoys walking, hiking and skiing. “Riding my bike helps me clear my mind,”  he said.

Click here to read the announcement from BVHS on the appointment of Lewis.