September 24, 2017

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Dr. David Newcomer Looks Back on His Time as ACMC’s Chief Medical Officer

Dr. David Newcomer ACMC Willmar Internal MedicineIt’s been nine years since ACMC internal medicine physician Dr. David Newcomer became chief medical officer (CMO) of ACMC. When he was first approached about taking on the role of CMO, he said no. Twice. Though he was very interested in being a part of the leadership one day, he wasn’t sure he was ready to serve in the role of ACMC’s medical director at the time; he had only been a physician at ACMC for nine years, and he was still building his practice.

But the third time was a charm, and in January 2007 Dr. Newcomer became ACMC’s fifth medical officer.

Back in 2007 when he took on his new role, Dr. Newcomer said, “Someone once told me that every seven years you should take on a new challenge.  It’s been nine. I expect this position to be a challenge, but also very rewarding.”

Though he hadn’t been sure he was ready for the role, his peers were confident in his skills and potential.

Dr. Newcomer knew that if nothing else, he wanted to work closely with ACMC’s board and administrative leadership, while still being an advocate for the physicians and staff.  As the chief medical officer, Dr. Newcomer helps ACMC physicians across the clinic system manage their practice and ensure the delivery of high quality, accessible health care for patients.

“At the time I wasn’t sure I was ready to be the medical officer for ACMC, but looking back I realize it was the right time. This role has been a really positive growing experience for me. I learned what it takes to be a leader in a major healthcare organization, experiencing everything that happens behind-the scenes,” Dr. Newcomer said. “And the connections I’ve made with physicians and staff across our system have been invaluable.”

As chief medical officer, he also oversees a team of medical directors.  It was his idea to expand the physician role in administration, developing more physician leaders at ACMC and making administration more effective and efficient with the addition of these medical directors—in quality, recruitment and retention, and patient communication and relations.

Over the course of his tenure, he’s also helped develop services like Medical Home, Willmar Diabetes Center and the hospitalist program at Rice Memorial Hospital. But what he’s most proud of is the commitment he’s made to making the clinic a better place for physicians, staff and patients alike.

Saying Goodbye to His Role as Chief Medical Director

In 2015 Dr. Newcomer decided it was time to return to his internal medicine practice full time.

“Change is a good thing—both personally and professionally. I think it will be good for ACMC to get someone new into the chief medical officer position with a fresh perspective,” he said. “Our incoming CMO Dr. Deb Peterson will do a great job.”

Dr. Newcomer is looking forward to being able to focus more on his internal medicine practice. However, he isn’t leaving administrative work behind for good. Dr. Newcomer has been, and will continue to be, the medical director at Rice Hospice since 2002. As he recommits himself to the hospice care program, he hopes to introduce a new initiative to the community. Many patients in the area have serious illnesses and need more support, but aren’t ready for hospice care. This program would provide palliative care for these patients.

“It’s been nine years since I accepted my last big challenge. It’s probably about time to take on another one. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of a team that helps shape patient care at ACMC,” Dr Newcomer said.  “And I look forward to continuing to improve the way healthcare is delivered in Willmar and our surrounding communities.”