SMCH CEO Cindy Carstens announces retirement

LAKE CITY — Stewart Memorial Community Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Cindy Carstens has made plans to retire Dec. 31 after 15 years of service in the position.

SMCH’s Board Chair Scott Nesbitt speaks highly of her contributions.

“I’m confident that the rest of the board, administration and staff share my high regard of Cindy’s service at Stewart Memorial,” he said. “She has demonstrated outstanding leadership which has proved vital in guiding the hospital through challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing growth in ways such as the building project.”

Nesbitt added, “She has maintained a calm, confident demeanor through every hurdle put in front of her. Cindy will be greatly missed, but we wish her the best in her well-earned retirement.”

Carstens began her time at SMCH in 2008 as the chief nursing officer. She transitioned into the role of CEO in 2016. During her tenure as CEO, she played a key role in provider recruitment, enlisting multiple physicians and advanced practice practitioners for primary care and specialty services for the community. Additionally, she oversaw multiple renovations and building projects, including the current $31 million building project that is slated to be completed in September.

In preparation for Carstens’ departure, a job posting for the SMCH CEO position will go live on July 10. Over the coming months, UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge leadership will collaborate with the SMCH Board of Directors to identify the next CEO for the organization.


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