By Rosalie Rayburn/Journal Staff Writer
Lovelace Westside Hospital’s new CEO is relishing the challenges of competing with new hospitals in Rio Rancho.
Farron Sneed joined the 80-bed West Side hospital at Golf Course and McMahon late last month, replacing Troy Greer, who was made CEO of the Lovelace Medical Center in Downtown Albuquerque in July. Greer had held the position since 2007.
Sneed was previously chief operating officer/facility compliance officer at the 240-bed Bluefield Regional Medical Center in Bluefield, W.Va. Before that, he was assistant CEO at the 300-bed Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.
His experience in the competitive Tucson environment, where there are around a dozen hospitals in a city similar in size to Albuquerque, made Lovelace Westside Hospital an attractive opportunity, Sneed said, in a recent interview.
“I knew that Albuquerque was a very competitive marketplace and I kind of enjoy that type of environment,” Sneed said.
The metro area’s two other major medical institutions have opened hospitals in nearby Rio Rancho recently. Presbyterian opened the Rust Medical Center in October 2011 and the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center opened in July.
“It’s very challenging and as far as my career, I’m just looking for challenging opportunities. It allows me to grow and apply my background and experience,” he said.
He looks forward to growing services at Lovelace Westside Hospital to meet community needs, especially the hospital’s obstetric and pediatric services.
Lovelace Westside Hospital opened a nine-room birthing unit in February 2011 and an eight-bed inpatient pediatric unit in March. Lovelace Westside Hospital is now the only hospital on the West Side or in Rio Rancho which offers inpatient pediatric care.
The emphasis on pediatric services will continue. Sneed explained that the hospital has just started a three-month $250,000 project to renovate its 17-bed emergency room department, which will include creating a special area for pediatric patients.
Sneed’s arrival coincided with news that the hospital had received a prestigious business award. Quality New Mexico gave Lovelace Westside Hospital its top-level Zia Award for Performance Excellence.
The award, given to only one recipient annually, is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria that looks at an organization’s strengths and its opportunities for improvement, said Nancye Cole, Lovelace Westside’s chief operating officer/ chief nursing officer.