Corewell Health System

Spectrum Health Names Tina Freese Decker as New President and CEO

July 17, 2018

Grand Rapids, Mich., July 17, 2018 – Spectrum Health today announced that its System Board of Directors has appointed Tina Freese Decker as the health system’s next President and Chief Executive Officer.  Freese Decker has been with Spectrum Health since 2002 and most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer for the organization. She will assume her new responsibilities on September 1.

“Spectrum Health is strong and positioned well for the future thanks to Rick Breon’s exceptional leadership. I am confident that Tina is the right individual to lead this organization into the next era of health care, focusing on reducing the cost of care, enhancing the experience of our patients and members, and continuing to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Dick DeVos, Chairman, Spectrum Health System Board of Directors. “Tina is a true health care visionary who brings a deep understanding of Spectrum Health and West Michigan based on her tenure with our health system.” Hear more from Dick DeVos about the selection process.

During her 16 years at Spectrum Health, Freese Decker has developed a strong reputation for her forward-thinking strategies, sound business acumen, successful execution, authenticity and collaboration. Her unique breadth and depth of experience includes leadership roles in strategy and operations across the system. She also is known as a change agent who has the judgment and experience to innovate and challenge the status quo, while thoughtfully understanding the community and Spectrum Health’s history.

“I am honored and thrilled to serve as President and CEO of Spectrum Health,” said Tina Freese Decker. “Spectrum Health is a well-respected leader in our industry. I look forward to implementing new and innovative ways of meeting individuals where they are on their health journey to further advance their health and well-being. I am very proud to work with such a talented group of physicians, clinicians, team members and partners who truly set Spectrum Health apart and dedicate their careers to our mission.” Hear more from Tina about her goals for the future.

Under Freese Decker’s leadership, Spectrum Health has focused on building community partnerships and implementing innovative solutions to address the health needs of the community it serves. Driven by her passion to improve health and make access easier for all, she has been instrumental in restructuring Spectrum Health into the expansive, integrated health system it is today.

Some of Freese Decker’s accomplishments include:

  • Implementing a $300 million transformation of the care model, including Epic installation
  • Redefining efficiency in operations across 12 hospitals and nearly 200 service sites
  • Elevating employee/member value with integrated approach of Spectrum Health’s business entities: Priority Health, Medical Group and Hospital Group
  • Leading culture change by encouraging leaders and employees to embrace a spirit of curiosity, pursue innovation and trust they are supported.
  • Championing virtual medicine strategy and implementation of MedNow systemwide
  • Forming partnerships with community members to address health factors and cost

An active member of the community, Freese Decker currently serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Fifth Third Bank Western Michigan, Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Michigan State University and Spectrum Health Alliance and The Economic Club of Grand Rapids. She was formerly the Michigan and NW Ohio Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Freese Decker has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2018 Top 25 COOs in Health Care, Managed Healthcare Executive’s 2018 Emerging Leaders, Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Healthcare 2018, Crain’s Detroit Business 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan 2016, Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan 2014, 2016, 2018, and American College of Healthcare Executives Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award for Young Healthcare Executive of the Year 2013.

Richard C. Breon, Spectrum Health President & CEO, announced his retirement last fall and will end his tenure on August 31, 2018. Breon joined Spectrum Health 18 years ago and led the organization through significant growth, developing Spectrum Health into the nationally recognized industry leader it is today.

At that point, the Spectrum Health System Board of Directors launched a national search for his successor. The extensive selection process surfaced numerous qualified candidates and involved dozens of key stakeholders in the interviewing process. The three final candidates met with the search committee, the full Spectrum Health System Board of Directors, physician leaders, and numerous community and business leaders. See more information on the search process.

“Our goal was to find the best person to lead Spectrum Health, so it was imperative our search process was as comprehensive and thorough as possible,” said Bob Roth, Spectrum Health System Board Member and chair of the search committee. “We were fortunate to have several highly qualified, accomplished individuals interested in this position. Tina emerged as the best fit based on her deep understanding of health care and her forward-thinking perspective about the future of health and wellness. We appreciate the time and energy of those who assisted in the selection process. Their involvement and input was invaluable. I am confident the process worked and we have the best person for the job.”

Spectrum Health has experienced unprecedented growth in its 20-year history. Beginning with 7,500 employees in 1997, it is now West Michigan’s only locally-governed, not-for-profit health system and the largest employer in the region with more than 25,000 employees. With a medical group, hospital group and health plan, Priority Health, the health system provides a comprehensive ecosystem of services to help the most seriously ill and injured adults and children as well as everyday care to help people stay well and maintain good health.

Download Video: A Message from Dick DeVos (154MB)
Download Video: Tina Freese Decker Message to the Community (60MB)
Download Video: The Search Process (344MB)
Download Video: CEO Endorsers (208MB)


Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This was the sixth time the organization received this recognition.

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our legacy of outstanding outcomes, innovation, strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Corewell Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides health care and coverage with an exceptional team of 60,000+ dedicated people—including more than 11,500 physicians and advanced practice providers and more than 15,000 nurses providing care and services in 21 hospitals, 300+ outpatient locations and several post-acute facilities—and Priority Health, a provider-sponsored health plan serving more than 1.3 million members. Through experience and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness. For more information, visit

Tim Hawkins
Media Relations
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