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Incoming CEO begins making the rounds at Rice Memorial

WILLMAR -- The transition for Rice Memorial Hospital's new chief executive officer, who will officially step into his position June 1, continues to move forward.

Michael Sc- hramm at-tended the meeting We-dnesday of the city-owned hospital's board of directors. It's the second board meeting he has attended since being hired in March.

Today is Schramm's last day in his current position as the chief executive at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield.

"I'm winding down and getting ready for the transition," he said.

Over the past several weeks he has been overseeing the completion of a major addition to the Litchfield hospital. The new space will be occupied by the end of June.

At the same time, he also has been attending meetings and orienting himself to the Rice organization. He'll be taking over the leadership next month of one of the city's largest entities, with a $90 million annual budget and 900-some employees at the hospital and its associated entities, the Rice Care Center and Rice Home Medical.

Dale Hustedt, interim chief executive at Rice, said he and Schramm are in contact by phone or e-mail almost every day. Schramm also recently had a Rice e-mail account and cell phone assigned to him.

Wednesday was Hustedt's last board meeting as the interim CEO. Once Schramm is on board, Hustedt will go back to his previous position as associate administrator for facility and human resources. He has been Rice Hospital's interim leader since last September, when former CEO Lawrence Massa left to become the new executive director of the Minnesota Hospital Association.

Hustedt said Wednesday that the interim position has been challenging but rewarding.

"It's been a wonderful opportunity and it's been an honor to serve in this capacity," he said.