The leadership at Physicians of Southwest Washington (PSW) is about to change hands. Upon the announcement by 16-year CEO veteran Mariella Cummings last fall that she would be retiring March 1, the independent physicians association’s managing board launched a national search to find her replacement in September.
Following a vigorous recruitment and interviewing process aided by a national health care executive search firm, Melanie Matthews, BS, MS, of Olympia has been chosen as the unanimous choice to lead the organization. Matthews, 41, will assume her new post Feb. 1, allowing for a one-month overlap transition period with Cummings.
“We at PSW feel very fortunate to have Melanie Matthews lead our organization into the future,” said PSW Managing Board President Dr. Gary Goin.
“Melanie brings her personal capacity for energy, clear focus and performance excellence to our already successful management team. In addition, her nationally recognized visionary leadership will assure that PSW continues its work to help integrate the ideas of health care reform into the lives of our patients and the practices of our physicians,” Goin added.
Matthews brings with her a successful 20-year career as a leader and innovator in various aspects of health care, including financial management, operations, human resources, system development and product marketing in health care services. Most recently she served for three years as vice president of operations for Prestige Care, Inc., where she was responsible for regulatory and financial operations and outcomes for 38 skilled nursing facilities and two Medicare home health agencies in a four-state northwest region.
Among Matthew’s other accomplishments, she serves as the chair of the Washington Health Care Association, and was selected by the American Health Care Association as a “National Political Ambassador” in 2013, as well as being named a national “Future Leader” in 2012.
Matthews holds a master of science, social gerontology, degree from Central Missouri State University and a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is married with two children and has lived in Olympia since 2008.