New vice president of health care business development joins LLUMC administrative staff
Mel Sauder, JD, MBA, the newest addition to the Loma Linda University Medical Center’s administrative team in the role of vice president for health care business development, joins the Medical Center with experience in the health care field for the previous 15 years. Mr. Sauder’s business experience goes back even farther. And it is all molded by a foundation in the ministry, which Mr. Sauder actively participated in as a pastor in the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists from 1983 to 1989.
“This just feels like a really good fit for me with my training and skills and background in this role,” says Mr. Sauder. “I have had a broad operational background and physician contracting and human resources experiences.
“I’ve worked in three different health care systems. Loma Linda will be my fourth.”
Mr. Sauder’s last position was in the Centura Health system in Colorado since 1999. Centura Health is the largest health care provider in Colorado. The integrated enterprise network includes 12 hospitals, nine senior housing facilities, home care/hospice, and a variety of services promoting faith-based community health initiatives. He served most recently as vice president for Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver. Prior to this, he held positions at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and worked with Sunbelt Home Health Care, in Sarasota, Florida.
“The commitment to mission is very strong and that resonated with me,” remarks Mr. Sauder about his attraction to the Medical Center. He was contemplating going full-time into the practice of law before Ruthita Fike, CEO of LLUMC, and the Loma Linda University Medical Center Board of Trustees sought his interest in joining the administrative team. “I think there is really a sense of commitment to mission that permeates here from administration, physicians, and frontline staff.”
Joining during the centennial celebration of the Medical Center and University is certainly not lost on Mr. Sauder. “It was appealing to be part of a health care institution with such a legacy,” he says.
The strategic plan the Medical Center’s administrative team is currently engaging incorporates the region’s population growth. A large part of Mr. Sauder’s responsibility will be to help implement the strategic plan, especially as it pertains to outpatient initiatives in the Inland Empire.
“Loma Linda has a wonderful opportunity to continue providing top-rate health care to the Inland Empire and beyond. There are challenges in every health care market—but there is so much upside here.”
Mr. Sauder holds a JD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, an MBA from the University of Texas-Pan American, and a BA from Southwestern Adventist University.
With two adult children, both married in 2004 within months of each other, Mr. Sauder considers his family his favorite hobby. He is also an avid professional football fan.
Mr. Sauder’s favorite books include Ellen G. White’s Conflict of the Ages series. He appreciates them because “they really ground me.” He admits to a broad spectrum of reading interests, but one of his current selections on the top of his list is Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald, the story of the Enron collapse.