Sparrow Health System names new experienced, dynamic CEO

Published: Nov. 27, 2018

LANSING, MI – A current hospital executive and MBA who started his healthcare career as a Registered Nurse has been chosen to lead Sparrow Health System (Sparrow) as its next President and CEO.

Emory Wayne “E.W.” Tibbs, Jr. of Virginia will join Mid-Michigan’s largest healthcare provider and employer in January 2019. He replaces Dennis Swan, who announced his pending retirement this past spring after guiding Sparrow for decades to become one of the most respected regional health systems in the country.

E.W. Tibbs, Jr. will assume overall leadership and strategic direction of Sparrow, continuing its commitment to providing high quality, cost-effective, and compassionate care and building on the organization's more than 122 years of service to its Patients and communities.

"We are pleased that E.W. has agreed to lead Sparrow’s efforts to meet the evolving health needs of the communities we serve," said Richard Bruner, chair of the Sparrow Health System Board of Directors, which oversaw the search and selection process.

"He is a true leader with a proven record of success, but more importantly he has seen healthcare from nearly every angle. He is genuine and cares deeply about the Patients and communities he serves and the colleagues he works alongside. We are extremely confident that he will carry on Sparrow's legacy of excellence while helping our health system grow and innovate.”

Bruner also thanked Swan for his outstanding leadership and dedication to Sparrow over nearly four decades of service. “Our Sparrow family is forever grateful to Dennis Swan for his vision and unwavering commitment to our organization, our region and the families who trust us to care for them.”

Strong Credentials, First-Hand Experience

E.W. Tibbs, Jr. was identified as the top candidate for the post following an extensive national search conducted by executive search firm Witt/Kieffer which specializes in healthcare and life sciences. He brings impressive and diverse experience gained from a variety of senior executive leadership posts. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Centra Health, a Virginia-based integrated hospital and healthcare delivery system with more than 8,500 employees.

He spearheaded efforts in Patient safety, quality, employee engagement, and technology and financial growth there. Before that, he was Centra’s COO and served as President and CEO of Southside Community Hospital in Farmville, Va., and Bedford Memorial Hospital, in Bedford, Va. A Registered Nurse by training, Tibbs also held key positions in nursing and emergency service early in his career.

Tibbs Focus for Sparrow Future

“It is an honor and privilege to be named the next President and CEO at Sparrow Health System and make Mid-Michigan my home,” said E.W. Tibbs, Jr. “I look forward to learning from, working closely with, and supporting each Sparrow Caregiver, Physician, Volunteer and Board Member as we care for our friends, families and neighbors and strive to continue the tradition of providing an unmatched positive Patient experience. I also can’t wait to become an active member of the community and region.”

Swan Confident in Transition

“Over the years, we have accomplished a great deal by working closely together to adapt to rapid changes, and advance the region’s healthcare, while providing excellent, quality care for every Patient, every time,” said Dennis Swan, outgoing Sparrow President and CEO. “It has been my honor to work with Sparrow’s outstanding Physicians, Nurses, Staff and Volunteers. Ilook forward to working with E.W. on a seamless transition and to seeing Sparrow become even better and stronger.”

Tibbs earned an MBA from Averett University in Danville, Va., and bachelor’s and associate degrees in nursing from the College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Va. His deep commitment to the broader healthcare field is evidenced by his service on key committees and boards with the American Hospital Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, and Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.

He is married and has two grown daughters, both currently in medical school