LACONIA — An interim management specialist has been named interim president and chief executive officer of LRGHealthcare, the organization's Board of Trustees announced yesterday. Charles Van Sluyter's appointment to succeed Tom Clairmont, who announced his retirement last week after 43 years, takes effect immediately, said Scott Clarenbach, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Van Sluyter specializes in interim management situations and will serve under a one-year contract with his employer, HealthTech Management Services of Brentwood, Tenn. During his 30-year career, Van Sluyter has served as chief executive officer or chief operating officer on an interim basis in at least 15 community hospitals and academic medical centers in 10 states.

"We are fortunate to be able to benefit from the broad experience provided by Mr. Van Sluyter from his many previous Interim CEO roles, experience that should serve him well as with LRGHealthcare," Clarenbach said in a prepared statement. "Chuck has an impressive track record of working collaboratively with all stakeholders in improving quality of services and ensuring strong financial performance. He is noted for his commitment to a collaborative culture drawing upon the knowledge and professionalism of the healthcare personnel with whom he serves."

Clarnebach said under the terms of its contract with HealthTech Management Services, LRGHealthcare can draw not only on Van Sluyter's knowledge, experience and skills, but also on the resources of the corporation, which has similar arrangements with some 40 other hospitals, and directly manages nearly that many.

Explaining that the trustees were in the midst of a strategic planning process, Clarenbach said that although renovations of the emergency department at Lakes Regional General Hospital in Laconia and a restructuring of electronic medical record keeping were being contemplated, LRGHealthcare would not undertake any major initiatives in the interim. He anticipated that nine months would be required to seek and appoint a permanent president and chief executive officer. Clarenbach said that while Van Sluyter would not participate directly in that decision, the board would likely seek his guidance and counsel.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Sluyter earned a master's dregree in hospital administration at the University of Minnesota. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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