In early 2016, Donald Kline was appointed to serve as the CEO of Mercy Health Youngstown. A 30 year veteran of the healthcare industry, Mr. Kline was promoted from his role as Mercy Health CFO – Markets, where each of the organization’s seven regional CFOs reported to him. His passion for the healthcare market is driven by two primary factors. The first is the opportunity to provide service to the community, and Mercy Health being a non-profit provides a great platform to do so. Second is the staying power and the perpetual need for healthcare, noting that “it is an industry that will always be critically important”.
We had the exciting opportunity to sit down with Mr. Kline and learn more about Mercy Health’s role in technology and what drove them to support VGV as one of the fund’s founding partners.
What is Mercy Health’s outlook on technology innovation?
“At the same time that VGV was coming together in 2016, Mercy Health was in the early stages of developing a whole team that is focusing on innovation. When you look at some of the disruptive technology in the healthcare industry there are a lot of investment opportunities out there and there are a lot of opportunities to do some really exciting things for people from health and technology perspectives. On our side, we are interested in investing in those opportunities. I also foresee opportunities for partner investments between Mercy, YBI, YSU, and TBEIC.”
What made Mercy Health excited about VGV?
“I think that VGV is well defined in terms of their investment criteria. They are focused on IT, B2B software, energy, and additive manufacturing. I think that was something that was lacking in the Valley previously so it was a great fit from that perspective. Considering the fact that they are focusing on Northeast Ohio was also very compelling, as well as the ability to bring together the partners and make it a cohesive approach. VGV is focused to assess and look at potential people to bring into the region through the venture. The need and the importance of the focus to bring in businesses made it an easy decision for us.”
What made Mercy Health decide to partner with VGV?
“When we looked and learned more about what VGV was about as far as B2B, the IT side, energy, and additive manufacturing as a way to help bring more jobs back to the region….that is something that we have always been interested in. I believe that there is a responsibility not only as the largest healthcare provider, but, also the largest employer in the area that we need to work with the other VGV partners in order to change the economic climate. I believe that we are on the way up and I see VGV as an accelerator of that.”
Where do you see Mahoning Valley in the future? How can we attract more young professionals to stay in the area?
“I think that a really nice complement of what VGV is focusing on can benefit that area. I think that a large part of it is the importance of multiple partners working together. The type of technology and investments that VGV can do through bringing these companies in gives more compelling reasons for young professionals to stay local. I think that anybody would stay if they believed that there is a better opportunity ahead. I think that all those coming together will drive the region to grow.”