On Monday, Nov. 3, Lori Wightman will step into her new role as president of Mercy Hospital Ada and will be the first female president in the hospital’s history. The registered nurse, certified health care executive, Rotarian, avid dog lover and wife is anxious to get to work.
After being in Ada for only one week, Wightman and her husband, Darren, feel right at home in Ada.
“From the grocery store bagger to the contractors working on our home to the people we have passed on the street, not a single person has missed the chance to welcome us to town,” said Wightman. “We really appreciate the warm welcome.”
Wightman joins Mercy after recently serving as president of Unity Hospital, a 275-bed facility in Fridley, Minnesota. It’s one of several hospitals and clinics in the upper Midwest that make up Allina Health, for which Wightman served as senior vice president from 2011 to 2013. Prior to that, Wightman served as president at New Ulm Medical Center in New Ulm, Minnesota, for more than eight years.
With a full schedule orienting her into Mercy and the community of Ada over the next few weeks, Wightman is more than ready to get to work. She plans to spend her first couple of months developing relationships with co-workers and learning their strengths.
“I really need to get to know who I’m working with,” said Wightman. “Understanding co-workers’ strengths will help me support their work so we can retain the immense talent we have at Mercy Hospital Ada.”
When looking at the future, Wightman sees great opportunities for health care in Ada.
“When the community comes to Mercy Hospital Ada, I want them to know they are receiving the safest, most reliable care possible,” said Wightman. “We need to continually provide this high level of care so the community knows they can always count on us. This will take work, but we have the right co-workers and talent to make it happen.”
Wightman looks forward to strengthening Mercy’s relationships with local health care and community organizations.
“We have long been awaiting Lori’s arrival and we are thrilled that she is here,” said Di Smalley, president of Mercy Oklahoma Communities and interim president of Mercy Hospital Ada. “With more than 20 years of hospital leadership in clinical and operational roles, she is a perfect fit for Mercy Hospital Ada and will help us expand our footprint in southern Oklahoma.”
The community is invited to a welcome reception for Lori Wightman and husband, Darren, hosted by East Central University’s (ECU) President John Hargrave on Monday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of ECU’s Chickasaw Business and Conference Center at 830 East Main in Ada.