Mercy Health – Youngstown has a new CEO and its leadership is now using individual expertise gained from bedside care. But the biggest change ahead may just be the health care organization’s role in the Valley.

Dr. John Luellen is replacing Donald Kline, who now oversees four of Mercy Health’s seven markets.

“I’m the first physician to be in that role so I think it’s an interesting opportunity for us to take a clinical bent to what we have done over time,” Luellen said.

He developed his expertise from 20 years as an emergency physician. He’s now accountable for all Mercy Health operations in the Mahoning Valley.

The hospital’s history dates back to 1911. Manufacturing once ruled the region but now health care has become a primary employment category.

“I think that’s an interesting role for a health care organization. I don’t think we’ve, historically, thought of ourselves as an employer but, rather, a provider of services,” Luellen said.

Mercy Health has more job listings in Mahoning and Trumbull counties than any other employer, according to Ohio Means Jobs.

Luellen knows the Lordstown workers losing their jobs still need health care and Mercy Health will be there to provide it. But it could also possibly provide opportunities for them to launch second careers.

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“We’re hiring nurses, we hire pharmacists, we hire physicians but we also hire a myriad of support roles that allow for people to enter health care without, necessarily, a clinical background,” Luellen said.

Mercy Health – Youngstown has 5,000 employees, including 200 physicians.

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JobsNOW is a joint initiative between WKBN and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.