January 26, 2017
Scott C. Polenz has been named chief administrative officer (CAO) for Marshfield Clinic Health System's (MCHS) hospital in Eau Claire, which will serve Chippewa Valley-area patients beginning in 2018.
Polenz, who has been Marshfield Clinic West District administrator since 2012, assumed this new role Jan. 8.
"Our strong leadership, the building of this hospital in Eau Claire and adding acute care into our business of health care is part of the evolution as we move into our organization's next 100 years," said Dan Ramsey, MCHS chief operating officer. "Scott is well positioned to oversee the new hospital and play a major role in bringing together the three elements of a fully integrated system – acute care, ambulatory care and a health plan – in the Chippewa Valley."
Ramsey added that the new hospital, under Polenz's direction, will give MCHS the ability to leverage the full potential of that integration, creating the best opportunity to impact cost, quality and patient experience in the Chippewa Valley.
"Scott knows the community and its needs and will do an outstanding job," Ramsey said.
Polenz is excited about the new role but also for the future of health care in the Chippewa Valley. "We're bringing this new model of care to my home town and I'm honored to be a big part of that. I'm very proud of this organization and its leadership, proud for what we stand for and proud to serve this community."
Polenz comes with a strong financial background as well as hospital, HMO and clinic experience.
"Now it's coming together to be able to serve successfully in this role," he said. "I've also had a lot of people I've grown up with ask 'why are you bringing another hospital to a community that doesn't need another hospital?' You sit down with them and say 'we're building the future of health care in the Chippewa Valley, leading with affordable health care.' How do you argue with that? Now it's our job to make promises come to fruition."
Polenz will focus on that integration process, to have seamless delivery through the full spectrum of care and blurring the lines of what's been traditionally hospital and clinic.
Prior to his West District administrator position, Polenz, a certified public accountant, was chief executive officer of Memorial Medical Center, Neillsville, where he led all aspects of this critical access hospital including three rural health clinics, home health and a nursing home.
He was director of Managed Care and Employer Relations for Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire.
He began his health care career at Marshfield Clinic, first as a senior financial analyst; then with Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., as manager of Managed Care Programs and later as director of Government Services; and then was System Pharmacy director for the Clinic.
A fellow in the Academy for HealthCare Management, he is on the Board of Directors for MCHS' Lakeview Medical Center, Rice Lake.
Polenz is a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate with a bachelor's degree in business administration-finance/accounting and holds a master's degree in business administration from Edgewood College, Madison.
He and his family reside in Eleva.
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) oversees Marshfield Clinic and other subsidiaries, including Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., MCIS, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation, Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake. Marshfield Clinic, with more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, serves patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education; with more than 700 physician specialists in 86 specialties and subspecialties and more than 6,500 employees. MCHS is overseen by a Board of Directors with 13 independent members and 11 physicians who comprise the Marshfield Clinic Board.