According to Jeremiah J. Hodshire, President & CEO of Hillsdale Hospital, success and failure are inseparable. “Success is not possible without failure,” he insists, underscoring the significance of “failing forward,” using mistakes as stepping stones for learning and growth.
Hodshire believes that one’s reaction to failure defines their character. Teamwork is another key factor in his definition of success. Drawing from his leadership experiences, he acknowledges, “I cannot succeed on my own.” To foster success, he has built a robust leadership team, emphasizing collaboration and mutual support for the hospital’s growth and prosperity.
Servant leadership is an integral part of Hodshire’s success philosophy. Hodshire’s career began in law enforcement, leading him to develop a more authoritarian mindset. Over time, he learned the importance of earning respect beyond a position, saying, “Individuals needed to respect more than the position; they needed to respect the person.” Inspired by Jesus Christ, he transformed his leadership style to be a listener and a servant, prioritizing love, forgiveness, care, and service above personal needs.
Hodshire’s decision-making is guided by his principles and faith, recognizing a greater mission beyond his individual role in healthcare. He asks himself, “How am I being called to serve those in need in this opportunity?” His perspective on success transcends personal acclaim, attributing it to the collective efforts of the team and the community, stating, “Success is not my own to claim.”
A Journey of Leadership and Healthcare Excellence
Hodshire reflects on his life before joining Hillsdale Hospital, offering insights into his educational and professional journey. A Hillsdale County resident from early childhood, he graduated from Camden-Frontier High School and pursued political economy at Hillsdale College.
Describing the college as the catalyst for his personal growth, Hodshire mentions, “Hillsdale College was the best decision of my educational career and formed me into the man I am today.” There, he acquired a strong educational foundation and honed skills in writing and time management, which continue to make a difference in his career.
The initial decade of Hodshire’s career unfolded in public service, first at the Circuit Court and later as undersheriff for Hillsdale County. He found satisfaction in policy development, administration, and grant writing. However, seeking new horizons, he transitioned to Hillsdale Hospital in 2010, initially serving as the Director of Organizational Development.
His responsibilities encompassed human resources, staff education, safety, security, and governmental affairs. Progressing through the ranks, Hodshire became Vice President in 2018 and Chief Operating Officer a year later. In June 2020, he assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of former President Duke Anderson.
Discussing Hillsdale Hospital and its services, Hodshire highlights the institution’s recognition by U.S. News & World Report, Chartis, and the Detroit Free Press as a testament to its commitment to providing exceptional healthcare. He emphasizes the hospital’s diverse offerings, including acute inpatient services, skilled nursing rehabilitation, orthopedics, infusion care, a Center for Pain Management focused on nonopioid solutions, a hyperbaric chamber, comprehensive wound care, and neurosurgery services.
In a region where the next nearest hospital is approximately 30 miles away, Hillsdale Hospital stands as a vital healthcare cornerstone, defying the trend of rural hospital closures and remaining a significant economic driver in the county. Explaining his decision to join Hillsdale Hospital, Hodshire expresses his passion for healthcare as the best job he’s ever had.
Describing each day as dynamic and rewarding, he acknowledges the element of faith required in his leadership role, trusting both secondary leaders and the entire staff contributing to the county’s primary healthcare system. Grounded in his faith in God, he prioritizes Hillsdale, stating, “Trust in God lays a foundation for me to step out in faith, choosing Hillsdale first, before any other consideration.” The hospital’s motto, “Every patient. Every time. Always,” reflects his faith in the community’s choice of Hillsdale as their primary healthcare provider.
Nurturing Growth, Innovation, and Recognition at Hillsdale Hospital
In discussing his impact on Hillsdale Hospital’s growth and success, Hodshire highlights the role of his political economy background, which has enabled him to forge networks at both state and national levels. He notes, “My expertise in political economy has allowed me to build networks around the state and the country, elevating rural health to grow Hillsdale Hospital for the benefit of our local communities.”
Hodshire’s active involvement in community organizations and boards, such as the Economic Development Partnership, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and South Central Michigan Works, underscores his commitment to leveraging his expertise for the hospital’s advancement.
Hodshire’s leadership extends to the podcast realm, where he co-hosts “Rural Health Rising” with Chief Communications Officer Rachel Lott. Through this platform, he shares insights on rural health issues, contributing to national awareness. He adds, “Every week, we feature discussions with experts in rural health issues, drawing awareness at a national level. We’re proud to be a part of the Health Podcast Network.”
Discussing his approach to fostering a culture of integrity and innovation in his team, Hodshire references Proverbs 29:18 and shares the importance of a vision for the organization. He notes, “As a leader, it’s my responsibility to cast an organizational vision that is rooted in integrity, honesty, and humility.”
Acknowledging the significance of employee engagement, Hodshire believes that motivating and engaging team members leads to superior service to the community. He underlines the connection between innovation and organizational understanding, envisioning it as a catalyst for curiosity and growth, stating, “When the organization is rooted in an understanding and appreciation of innovation, it will serve as a catalyst to curiosity and will take Hillsdale Hospital to new heights never imagined before.”
Hodshire shares about getting awards for his leadership from Michigan and the U.S. House of Representatives. However, he places particular emphasis on the Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health, presented by the National Rural Health Association. Notably, he received this honor after just two years as the hospital CEO, a testament to his swift impact. Hodshire expresses gratitude for the award, saying, “I was honored to be awarded this recognition.”
Navigating Crisis, Fostering Community Resilience, and Sustaining Rural Healthcare
Hodshire believes that challenges foster strength. He’s encountered formidable obstacles in the healthcare sector, particularly for small, rural hospitals like Hillsdale. Looking back on the significant challenge brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, he remarks, “Throughout the past few years, we have been strengthened as a healthcare team and as a community, despite the devastating losses we’ve experienced.”
Hodshire observes the community’s resilience, citing instances of support such as notes of encouragement, donations of essential supplies, and unsolicited contributions during crucial times. He underlines the community’s proactive engagement, stating, “When so many are in need, our neighborhoods step in to help.”
Addressing broader challenges in healthcare at the national level, Hodshire notes the ongoing struggle for the soul of healthcare. He underscores the significant issues faced by hospitals nationwide, including escalating labor costs, staffing shortages, and challenges in state legislature. For rural hospitals like Hillsdale, these challenges have the potential to hinder healthcare accessibility for rural populations, a critical factor in health outcomes.
Hodshire explains, “Health outcomes are contingent upon accessibility.” He highlights the specific challenges faced by their community, citing a lack of transportation as a barrier for patients needing to reach medical appointments or the emergency department.
Hodshire draws attention to the harsh reality faced by rural hospitals, pointing out that 142 hospitals have closed in America since 2010. He emphasizes the urgent need to sustain rural healthcare, stating, “The fight is real. Sustaining rural healthcare is at the heart of what we’re doing every day at Hillsdale Hospital.”
He clarifies that this mission is not about personal job security but about delivering essential care at the local level, ensuring patients have access when needed. Expressing the gravity of the challenge, he concludes, “For Hillsdale Hospital, that’s a challenge worth facing for another 108 years.”
A Commitment to Service, Growth, and Community Thriving
As President & CEO of Hillsdale Hospital, Hodshire describes his role in one word: “Servant.” He explains, “As the president and chief executive officer, it is not my job to elevate myself. If I really want to lead this hardworking team toward an incredible future as a hospital, I need to serve.”
Hodshire belives that service is integral to healthcare, manifesting in various ways, from addressing urgent community matters when a neighbor stops him in the parking lot, to making daily sacrifices for the hospital’s mission. He notes, “My role is service, and I’ve learned that there isn’t a position at our hospital that doesn’t involve serving. We are here to serve our community, so each and every member of our team must be service-oriented.”
Discussing the vision and plan for the future of Hillsdale Hospital, Hodshire highlights the institution’s commitment to providing high-quality services to the community. He calls on the community for support, saying, “We ask Hillsdale and surrounding counties to choose Hillsdale First when considering their healthcare options.”
Hodshire envisions a future of growth and sustainability, with plans to expand health services through strategic collaboration. He stresses the importance of sustaining core values such as empathy, safety, and commitment, tailoring the hospital’s offerings to meet the community’s greatest needs.
Aligned with these objectives, Hodshire actively participates in local economic and community development. He currently serves on the boards of the Hillsdale County Community Foundation, Southeast Michigan Workforce Development, and the Hillsdale County Economic Development Corporation.
Hodshire shares his commitment to supporting his community, stating, “I want to see this community thrive, so I need to be at the table to make decisions that will help build a brighter future for this community.”
A Servant Leader’s Call to Advocate for Rural Healthcare and Leave a Lasting Legacy
In discussing his perspective on influencing the next generation of leaders, Hodshire reflects on the responsibility entrusted to him within a brief historical window. He states, “When compared to the longevity of our overall lives, we are given a minute amount of time to make a difference.”
Emphasizing his reliance on faith in times of uncertainty and prosperity, Hodshire underscores his commitment to being a servant leader during this specific period. He sees his role as significant in the context of current local and national events, stating, “I am convinced that I am called to be a servant leader for such a time as this.”
Expressing a deep sense of purpose, Hodshire believes he is called to be a voice for rural hospitals nationwide. He aspires to be “a voice for the voiceless, a champion for the poorest among us, and a pioneer of new ways to provide direct healthcare service in remote areas.”
Hodshire sees his career’s greatest aspiration as advocating for those who lack representation and innovating healthcare solutions for underserved communities. He believes his work as ordained and regards it as his duty to fulfill the mission of service.
Hodshire anticipates that the impact of his career will endure, asserting, “The depth and breadth of my career will be measured long after I am gone, through the legacy I have established for providing and sustaining life-saving healthcare services for those who need access to care.”
Navigating the Pursuit of Balance with Personal Commitments and Leadership Principles
In addressing the challenge of maintaining a balance between personal and professional life in the realm of rural healthcare, Hodshire acknowledges the difficulty in today’s world. He shares, “I have been tasked with a significant challenge, and the weight of such a responsibility drives me to remain constantly engaged in this organization.”
Despite the demanding nature of his role, Hodshire’s personal connection to Hillsdale Hospital adds a profound dimension. He notes, “My passion for Hillsdale Hospital is very personal to me. My wife is a nurse, and one of my daughters wants to be involved in healthcare.” Highlighting the familial and organizational significance of sustaining rural healthcare, he reflects on the difficulty of finding balance but considers the personal sacrifices worthwhile for the patients and employees relying on their community services.
Discussing his personal goals, Hodshire reveals being driven by three fundamental principles: “Love of God, love of family, love of community.” As an ordained minister contributing to local churches for the past 20 years, he expresses a passion for ministry that influences his approach to leadership.
Hodshire’s message to aspiring executive leaders is clear: “Serve first, with a team of servant leaders surrounding and supporting your vision. Everything else will follow.” He stresses the value of a servant leadership mindset and the importance of building a supportive team to achieve overarching goals.
In the world of healthcare leadership, Jeremiah J. Hodshire emerges as a beacon of unwavering commitment and visionary stewardship at Hillsdale Hospital. From navigating the challenges of rural healthcare to championing community well-being, his narrative is one of resilience, sacrifice, and unyielding dedication.
As President & CEO, Hodshire personifies servant leadership as he seeks to balance personal conviction and professional responsibility. He believes in learning from failure and embracing teamwork, all guided by principles and a commitment to a greater mission. His fervent belief in the mission of providing accessible, high-quality healthcare echoes through every endeavor.
Jeremiah J. Hodshire’s legacy extends beyond the confines of his role; it is a testament to the enduring impact of a leader driven by love—love for God, family, and community. In the vast landscape of healthcare leadership, Hodshire stands tall, not just as an executive but as a compassionate architect shaping the future of rural healthcare with a heart that beats for the well-being of those he serves.