Ottumwa Regional Health Center Announces Top Leadership Changes
Date Posted: Apr 2, 2021
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Dennis Hunger

Ottumwa, Iowa. (April 1, 2021) – Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) announced today the retirement of chief executive officer (CEO) Phil Noel, effective Friday, April 2, after eight years of dedicated service to ORHC and a nearly 50-year career in healthcare. ORHC assistant administrator and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Hunger will succeed Noel as CEO.

“Healthcare in southern Iowa is stronger because of Phil’s years of service to ORHC and the communities it reaches,” said Robert Wampler, Division President, LifePoint Health. “Dennis and Phil have worked together in recent years to grow ORHC into the strong hospital it is today, and we are pleased to announce that Dennis will continue to move that vision forward as CEO.”

Noel retires after nearly five decades of serving in various healthcare leadership roles, primarily in acute care. Under Noel’s leadership, ORHC has opened a behavioral health center, expanded specialized outreach services into four counties, added a walk-in clinic and expanded orthopedic services. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Ottumwa Rotary Club, Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress (GOPIP) and the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.

“Phil has done so much for Ottumwa and our broader community,” said ORHC Board Chair, Eric Carlson. “In addition to the operational and clinical successes for which he will be remembered, Phil’s legacy will be his confident and steady leadership and his deep commitment to his team members and our patients. We wish him the best in his much-deserved retirement.”

Hunger came to Ottumwa in 2017, after six years of serving as CEO of Washington County Hospital and Clinics in Washington, Iowa. He was previously CEO of Logan Medical Center in Guthrie, Oklahoma. With a MBA and an MHA from University of Iowa, Hunger earned his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. A southeastern Iowa native, Hunger is board president of the Bridge View Center and a board member of the GOPIP (Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress).

“Serving alongside the exceptional team of patient-minded healthcare professionals at ORHC has been a pinnacle of my career,” Noel said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have led this exceptional organization for eight years, and I can think of no more capable successor than Dennis.”

Hunger expressed gratitude for Noel’s service and a commitment to future service. “This community is vastly stronger because of Phil Noel, and I am honored to follow him on the path of enhancing healthcare for Ottumwa and our region,” he said. 

About Ottumwa Regional Health Center
For more than 125 years, Ottumwa Regional Health Center has served the community of Ottumwa and the citizens of Southeast Iowa. We are a regional health center providing a wide range of health services, including emergency medicine, critical care services, medical/surgical, acute rehabilitation, obstetrics, and pediatrics, as well as specialty services such as cardiac catheterization, diagnostic and therapeutic radiological services, wound care, pain clinic, sleep lab, pathology – and so much more.