Jeanie Gentry will be replacing former Prineville CEO Bob Gomes who will oversee St. Charles Bend and Redmond

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - St. Charles Madras CEO Jeanie Gentry will also serve in the same role for  St. Charles Prineville.

As work moves forward on a new hospital in Prineville, a new leader will helm the transition to the new facility.

St. Charles Madras CEO Jeanie Gentry will now add CEO duties for St. Charles Prineville, replacing Bob Gomes who held the position just shy of four years.

Gentry came to Madras from northwest Montana in 2011, but she is familiar with the Prineville community because her 12-year-old triplet children attend Crook County Christian School.

“I feel connected to both of these communities already,” she said. “I came here to take the position in Madras and now I am adopting Prineville.”

The transition is part of an effort by St. Charles Health Systems to cut expenses and streamline its operation. Gentry said that the company is facing significant changes because of healthcare reform efforts that have created a need to rethink how they do business.

“We have got to lower our expenses like we never have before, and there is an opportunity to share resources,” she said. “Prineville and Madras I think are going to have a lot of synergy. We are very similar in size and the services that are delivered, and some of the challenges we face as little hospitals.”

Gentry will finish the transition to a new hospital that Gomes helped initiate, and she is looking forward to ensuring “that we don’t miss a beat with the building project.”

For nearly 20 years, Gentry has worked in the healthcare field. She began her career in human resource development, then later transitioned into operations management as well.

“Over the years, I have personally supervised every department that a hospital would have,” she said. “It has really given me a good overall understanding of how a hospital functions and how I can help it function even better.”

As she takes the reins in Prineville, Gentry is excited to join a community that she believes exhibits a can-do attitude.

“There is an excitement,” she said. “We’re growing. We’re changing. We’re getting better. I think that is going to do great things, not just for healthcare that’s offered in Prineville, but for a lot of the businesses and economic growth.”

With that comes some challenges, and Gentry feels the greatest of those is to shift the focus in healthcare to disease prevention.

“There are some things that we can do to improve the healthiness of our patients in Prineville,” she said. “Long-term, we are not going to be in the business of sick care. We need to keep people healthy.”

Gomes, who now takes over as CEO of St. Charles Bend and Redmond, said the transition in leadership is a good move that will help align and focus the St. Charles system. Nevertheless, it is hard for him to leave Prineville.

“We have done a lot of good things out there,” he said. “We brought in more physicians, we brought in electronic medical records, and we have got a new building getting ready to be built. Most of all, we have established a fantastic culture. It is a great community I have been part of for these last four years. I am very proud of it.”

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