Diegel hired as chief strategy officer for Maui Health System

JAMES DIEGEL, Started June 17

James “Jim” Diegel has been named chief strategy officer for Maui Health System, the Kaiser Permanente company that operates Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital.

His job will include building partnerships with Maui Health System doctors and community members and growing Maui Health System’s business, said Maui Health System spokeswoman Mahie Wong last week. He will work to maintain and expand Maui Health System’s strategic goals and objectives, and with the leadership team identify and implement new programs and services to meet community health needs.

Diegel, who started in his new position on June 17, has more than 30 years’ experience in building and leading executive teams, operations and strategy in major hospitals and health care systems nationwide.

“I feel very honored to join the Maui Health System leadership team and excited to be able to contribute to its vital role of improving the health and well-being of the people of Maui and Lanai,” said Diegel in a news release.

He most recently served as CEO for Howard University Hospital, a 285-bed academic training and urban hospital located on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he was president and CEO at St. Charles Health System, a multi-site, nonprofit health enterprise in Central and Eastern Oregon. St. Charles operates a 261-bed regional medical center, an acute-care hospital and two critical access hospitals, as well as the system’s 195-provider/19-specialty physician group, certified sleep disorder center, crisis and residential behavioral health center, and home health and hospice centers.

In addition, Diegel has served as a board member of the American Hospital Association and has been faculty for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement and The Governance Institute.

He is a former Peace Corps volunteer who lived with an indigenous mountain people in the Philippines for 2 1/2 years, learning Tagalog, Bikolano and Hanunoo Mangyan along the way. His wife of 35 years, Vicky, hails from Naga City, the Philippines.

In the early 1990s, Diegel worked for the Ministry of Health Services in the Republic of the Marshall Islands as the administrator of Ebeye Hospital in the Kwajalein Atoll.

Diegel earned his Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and his master’s in health service administration from St. Mary’s College of California.

He and his wife have two married adult sons, one of whom is a Kaiser family medicine doctor in Portland, Ore.

“Jim’s specific expertise in cultural and system transformation, community engagement, and creating strategic partnerships, among many other strengths and achievements, is very impressive,” said Michael Rembis, Maui Health System CEO who has known Diegel for 30 years. “We’re looking forward to his valuable contributions to our organization and our mission to provide the absolute best health care to our community.”