Philip A. Newbold will complete his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Health System in October of 2017. Beacon is the largest locally owned and operated nonprofit health care system in north central Indiana, and parent organization to Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart and the 350-provider Beacon Medical Group.

He served an unprecedented 30 years as CEO.

An extraordinary blend of inspired leadership and expertise helped Newbold guide Memorial and Elkhart General hospitals through the process of joining forces to become Beacon Health System during one of the most dynamic and unpredictable times in health care. Newbold was instrumental in transforming the health system into a high-performing, nationally recognized organization.

Last month, Newbold was named a finalist for the 2017 John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership Award, which recognizes leaders who are making life-changing differences. His steadfast commitment to cultivating fresh ideas within the health system was praised in The Wall Street Journal in 2008 for being “way out front with his emphasis on an innovative culture.”

During Newbold’s tenure:

  • Beacon established one of the first hospital tithing policies in the country.
  • Beacon became the first Indiana hospital to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, allowing local physicians to collaborate with Mayo specialists.
  • Beacon Children’s Hospital completed a $50 million expansion in downtown South Bend, incorporating an advanced single-family room NICU model that is new to the U.S., encouraging parents to bond with their premature babies.
  • More than 1,000 business and community leaders have taken innovation and leadership development courses at the Pfeil Innovation Center.
  • Memorial HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum opened a health education center in South Bend with the model replicated in St. Louis and Tupelo, Miss.
  • Beacon purchased Madison Center and renamed it Memorial Epworth, to ensure the continuation of inpatient psychiatric services in the region.
  • Beacon Health & Fitness opened medically based, full-service fitness centers in South Bend and Granger and began construction on an Elkhart location, which included an innovative public-private partnership that will also bring a state-of-the-art aquatics center to the community.
  • Elkhart General Hospital completed an $83 million surgery center expansion.
  • Memorial introduced the first and only MedFlight service in the region, and became the region’s only designated Level II Trauma Center.
  • Beacon became the only health system in Indiana to offer the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ Program for reversing heart disease.

Under his leadership, Beacon received the American Hospital Association’s Foster G. McGaw Prize, the industry’s top award for community health, and was named one of the Top 100 Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, among many other honors and recognitions.

Newbold is committed to improving the health and well-being of people in north central Indiana, and his deep-seated belief in the limitless opportunities for the regions’ growth and success served as the catalyst for pioneering programs and services that made the community a better place in which to live and work.

One of Newbold’s signature local programs, called the “Community Plunge,” brought hospital administrators and community leaders together to visit populations of residents who had particularly challenging health concerns. The innovative program grew from Newbold’s philosophy that problems are always best solved when issues are witnessed, experienced and managed first-hand.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Newbold became concerned that traditional thinking would not adequately inform the health care problems and opportunities of the future. He felt new varieties of innovation were needed, but found few innovators among health care systems. Newbold began networking with organizations outside of health care to glean their most important practices. He used this knowledge to infuse innovation as a focal point and main driver of the health care system. This culture shift produced award-winning facility designs and first-of-their-kind innovations in health care programming and services.

Among these innovations was the creation of Memorial’s HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum in South Bend. It’s an interactive educational space that has taught the estimated 1 million children who have visited over the years about making healthy life choices. The concept has been replicated in St. Louis and Tupelo, Miss.

Beacon’s culture shift toward innovation also spurred the implementation of programs, including the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ Program, which has dramatically changed the lives of hundreds of participants suffering from heart disease. Beacon was the first health system in Indiana to offer the Ornish program, and the first in Indiana to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network. In January 2017, Beacon introduced a virtual telehealth product to consumers.

An important product of Beacon’s innovation culture, which Newbold inspired, was the development of the Certified Innovation Mentor program (CIMp). The collaboration among Beacon Health System, the University of Notre Dame and Whirlpool Corporation educates leaders who travel to Notre Dame from across the country and internationally on how to build a better world through innovation.

Always continuing to learn, Newbold and his leadership team regularly participated in “inno-visits,” where Beacon leaders traveled to other organizations to better understand how to improve processes. Inno-visits included trips to FedEx, DuPont, Harley Davidson, Hershey’s, John Deere, Johnsonville and Whirlpool. Other organizations were also invited to visit Beacon’s Innovation Café, now the Pfeil Innovation Center, to learn best practices in implementing an innovative culture.

Numerous clinical services were also created or expanded under Newbold’s leadership to better serve the people of northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Graduate Medical Education, too, was expanded in partnership with Indiana University and Notre Dame to offset the coming physician shortage crisis.

Newbold’s commitment to local community boards and initiatives was an equally important part of his life. Over his career, his contributions to local organizations have included: Center for the Homeless; Stanley Clark School; IU South Bend Advisory Board; Northern Indiana Medical Education Foundation Board; Gigot Center at Notre Dame; Innovation Park at Notre Dame; Indiana Chamber of Commerce; South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce; Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce; Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County; Project Future; and CONNECT, a community-based collaborative.

Newbold was a recipient of the Community Service Award from The Hotchkiss School, and the Exemplar Award from The Coalition for Educational Success. He was a Diplomat of the American Academy of Medical Administrators and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. In 2004, Newbold received the South Bend Community Hall of Fame Award. He received the St. Joseph County W. Scott Miller Distinguished Business Leader Award in 2015, and a year later Newbold was honored with the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics E.M. Morris Award.

Prior to coming to Memorial Hospital and Beacon, Newbold was a Senior Executive at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland and CEO at Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. A fitness enthusiast, Newbold has competed in 19 Ironman Triathlons, spoken nationally on community health and innovation, and co-authored the book, Wake Up and Smell the Innovation. Newbold is a native Buckeye and a graduate of The Ohio State University and Miami University of Ohio.