Beaumont announces retirement of chief medical officer; successor named: 
Ananias Diokno, M.D., Beaumont Health System’s executive vice president and chief medical officer since September 2006, will step down from his administrative role effective June 1 and retire on Sept. 1. He will be succeeded as CMO on June 1 by David Wood, M.D., current president of Beaumont Physician Partners, the health system’s administrative group for hospital-physician relations. As chief medical officer, Dr. Diokno worked to organize and integrate Beaumont’s three hospital medical staffs; instituted health system chair positions for major specialties to ensure consistent, high-quality medical practice; and established a single set of medical staff bylaws. He also played a key role in creating Beaumont Physician Partners, which is helping the health system to work more closely and cooperatively with physicians. Before becoming CMO, Dr. Diokno was chairman of the Beaumont, Royal Oak Department of Urology from July 1984 to June 2007, and was the first Peter & Florine Ministrelli Distinguished Chair in Urology. During nearly 25 years as chairman of the Department of Urology, Dr. Diokno helped the department’s clinical, educational and research programs rise to international acclaim and consistently rank among the finest in the nation. Urology at Beaumont has been ranked nationally among the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals for 15 consecutive years. Dr. Diokno has served as president of the Michigan Urologic Society and the North Central Section of the American Urological Association. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, which admitted its first class in August 2011. He serves on the faculty as a professor in the Department of Urology. He received the American Urological Association Presidential Citation award and the Victor Politano Excellence Award. He is also a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Merit Award and has conducted NIH-funded research projects since 1983, including a groundbreaking study on urinary incontinence. David Wood, M.D., will continue as president, Beaumont Physician Partners, in addition to his new role as chief medical officer. Under his leadership, Beaumont Physician Partners has enhanced relationships with Beaumont’s private-practice medical staff and the physician organization associated with Beaumont, United Physicians. He and his team worked with United Physicians to create Beaumont United Care Partners, a clinical integration organization. BPP supported Beaumont-employed and affiliated primary care physician practices in achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home designation by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Wood came to Beaumont from the University of Michigan Health System. A nationally and internationally recognized cancer surgeon, he served as chief, Division of Urologic Oncology, since 2002. Before joining U-M Health System, he held a series of leadership positions with the Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, including chief medical officer of the Karmanos Cancer Hospital. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan, served his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a three-year fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Southwest Michigan First Announces Team Expansion

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KALAMAZOO — Southwest Michigan First Thursday announced the hiring of four new staff members and four summer interns.

The economic expansion agency for the Kalamazoo region said it was increasing its staff to meet increased demand for services in the areas of business acceleration, attraction and consulting.

“Over the past 18 months, interest from companies both within and outside our region encompassing Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties has increased exponentially,” said Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens. “We look for our newest team members to expand our organization’s depth and breadth to better serve our region as we are committed to providing seamless capacity to our partners and clients.”

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New team members include:
* Joe Agostinelli will join the organization’s business acceleration team. In his role, Agostinelli will partner with existing companies in the region to spur job creation. Agostinelli comes to the team from Diversco Global, Inc. where he focused on mixed-use development projects, with additional prior experience from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Agostinelli is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
* Derek Nofz will serve as the organization’s director of public policy. He will be an advocate for the region as it looks to develop and execute a regional public policy agenda. Derek is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and was most recently responsible for district activities and constituent relations for Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger.
* Amanda Harrison has joined Southwest Michigan First serving on the organization’s communications team. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Harrison most recently served in marketing and community relations with Hastings Mutual Insurance Co.
* Melissa Al-Azzawi, a May 2013 graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design, will serve as a creative leader on the communications team. Melissa previously managed her own freelance design and photography business, most notably the Handmade Kalamazoo brand.

Southwest Michigan First also welcomed four interns to support the team over the summer months:
* Derek Debiak, a senior at Michigan State University, will work on small business development and marketing initiatives. Derek is a graduate of Schoolcraft High School.
* A graduate of Portage Central High School who has just completed his sophomore year at Adrian College, Rob Heath is working with the Michigan Medical Device Accelerator.
* Mackenzie Miller will work with the organization’s attraction team. Miller will enter her senior year at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. and is a graduate of Coldwater High School.
* Joining the administrative team will be Katelyn Van Meter, a recent graduate of Olivet College who attended Sturgis High School.

“Southwest Michigan First believes in the importance of investing and developing our region’s future talent by promoting real-world work experiences,” Kitchens said. “Each year, we look forward to working with the area’s top college students who engage in our internship program as we understand that these promising young adults represent Southwest Michigan’s future greatest asset – its talent.”

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Founded in 1999 on the principle that the most powerful force for change is a job, Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic growth in Southwest Michigan. For more information about Southwest Michigan First, please visit us at, or call (269) 553-9588.