Hunt retires from clinic administration
Tim Hunt has led Alexandria Clinic through a multitude of changes and an abundance of growth spurts, including construction of the current clinic in 1997, a 12,000-square-foot expansion in 2004, conversion to an electronic medical records system, and most recently, a merger with Douglas County Hospital.
On Friday, he stepped away from the organization he has managed for 24 years to settle into retirement.
“It’s bittersweet, but I’m ready to retire,” he said. “You hear when people leave [their job] that it’s the people they miss the most and it sounds like it’s sort of canned, but when you really are leaving, you realize that’s what you’ll miss most.”
JOURNEY TO ALEXANDRIA
Hunt has worked in health care administration since the mid-1970s. Throughout the years he has managed the construction of two hospitals and a clinic.
He began his career in Jamestown, North Dakota., his hometown, and was working as a hospital administrator in Louisiana before moving to Alexandria.
Hunt said he wanted to get back to the Upper Midwest. When he was interviewing for a job in Minneapolis he saw an advertisement for an administrator opening at Alexandria Clinic. He decided to drive up and check it out.
“I drove into town, it was a beautiful fall day with the changing color of the trees and everything; I drove between the lakes and I called my wife and said, ‘This is where we should move to.’ It really was just a stroke of luck,” he said.
For the next 24 years, Hunt led the clinic forward through times of change and growth.
“It’s been nice, steady, organized growth for us,’ he said. “The community keeps moving forward and growing. I think as the community grows and we grow, we’ve complemented the community and worked off each other pretty well over the years.”
Hunt said residents here are fortunate to have a continuum of care among all local health care facilities – hospital, clinics, assisted living, nursing homes and others.
“It’s very comprehensive and very high quality. There aren’t a lot of communities that are as cohesive as we are,” he said.
He has helped plan, recruit and guide the growth of the clinic, all while reporting to the Alexandria Clinic’s board of directors. The clinic’s physicians are shareholders.
His advice to the next administrator: “The administrator here just needs to keep looking forward and not get too anxious about it because there are a lot of changes coming. Being able to be flexible and being able to adjust is going to be critical,” he said.
Interviews for a new administrator were finished last week and an announcement is expected soon.
“I plan to just let retirement come to me for a little bit,” Hunt said. “I’ve got a lot of ideas of what I could do if I felt like doing it and I’m going to wait and see if I feel like doing it.
“I definitely plan to play more golf and start fishing a little bit again, travel and start doing things I haven’t had time to do,” he added.
Hunt said he and his wife, Pamela, intend to stay in Alexandria, but also spend more time at their home in Arizona during the winter. The Hunts have two children.