CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY
This is a great community in which to live and work,” proclaims Mike Henze. “We have a wonderful health system with
many caring individuals here to help.” Henze should know, because for the past 27 years he has lived and labored at the Lake while being the Chief Executive Officer of the Lake Regional Health System. Now recently retired, he reflects and looks forward to his future.
In his typical quiet, yet in-command way, Henze fondly recalls growing up in Conway, Arkansas, with his parents, brother and
dogs. Boy Scouts was a favorite youth activity. While attending Catholic schools he was a National Honor Society member. Friends and studies were balanced with basketball, baseball and track.
He continued combining sports with higher education as he played basketball while attending Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, earning a BA in Business and Economics. Henze worked as a retail clothing store manager while gaining his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Central Arkansas.
During this time he met his lovely bride, Gerri, at a church activity. Together they have three children, Jeffery; Jonathan, who is a
retired Marine; and daughter, Jennifer. They enjoy being with their numerous grandchildren as much as possible. Possibilities abounded for the Henzes during their early married life. Henze worked in hospitals in Arkansas before moving to the
Lake. In 1990, the Lake of the Ozarks General Hospital (its name at the time), chose him from more than 200 applicants to become its new chief executive officer. “It snowed the day we arrived in late March,” Henze recalls.
“The Lake is a close-knit community,” he says, with a smile; a community where he and Gerri have enjoyed making their home. He fishes with friends and family. Their farm is close by, complete with cattle and three donkeys that Henze calls by name. His lifelong love of family time remains a high priority, and golf is a favorite activity.
Henze also gives back to the community by serving in a variety of organizations such as the Lake of the Ozarks Rotary Club, where he is a past president. Also, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church has been the recipient of his time and foresight while he served on its finance committee.
At the regional and state level, Henze is a past board member, having served on a vast number of committees and as past president for the Missouri Hospital Association. He also is a past board member and president for the Healthcare Services Group. Nationally, Henze has shared his expertise and energies as a regional policy board member for the American Hospital Association.
Bringing best practices back from his professional organizations, combined with his professional talents, he aptly led the Lake
Regional Health System as it strategically grew and compassionately met the needs of the Lake. In doing so, LRHS and Henze have been bestowed a variety of prestigious awards. Henze will positively remember these accolades as he enjoys his retirement.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time with family and friends,” he shares.
Q. DID YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS WHILE GROWING UP?
A. My father and mother were both mentors. They were strong in faith, stern when necessary and provided a warm, nurturing family life.
Q. YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AND HELPED INITIATE UPDATES AT LRHS OVER YOUR 27 YEARS THERE. IS THERE
ONE OR MORE THAT ARE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU?
A. Two programs stand out: 1) The Heart Program in 1997, the Heart Cath Laboratory and Open Heart Surgery program, and 2) The Cancer Program with its Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy.
Q. YOU AND LRHS HAVE DESERVEDLY RECEIVED NUMEROUS AWARDS. ARE THERE SOME YOU’D LIKE TO
A. The Missouri Quality Award, modeled after the national Malcom Baldridge Award and given by the Excellence in Missouri Foundation, was bestowed upon the LRHS three times, in 2003, 2010 and 2013. Lake Regional was the first community Hospital to receive this honor twice. In 2004, I was honored to receive the Visionary Leadership Award from the Missouri Hospital Association. Then in 2013, I was bestowed the coveted MHA Distinguished Service Award, the highest award presented to a Missouri hospital administrator.
Q. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR TIME WITH LRHS?
A. I will always remember the people, those who choose to serve others, the board, the staff, providers and volunteers. They are the true, compassionate heroes. •