Medical Associates Clinic announced that John Tallent will retire on January 4, 2021, after serving for over 22 years as Chief Executive Officer of the area’s oldest and largest multispecialty clinic and health plan organization. The board of directors has selected Zach Keeling to succeed Mr. Tallent as Chief Executive Officer.
Tallent was recruited as the organization’s CEO in July 1998. Previously, Tallent held various executive positions with FHP, Inc., in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, including President of FHP of New Mexico. Tallent’s healthcare career began on the first Monday of January in 1986 and will conclude similarly this January.
“Of the many varied businesses one could spend their careers in, I have been fortunate to have spent mine in healthcare, a service that focuses every day on the health and wellbeing of others,” said John Tallent. “I have been blessed to spend two-thirds of my healthcare career with one of the finest organizations in the Nation and have enjoyed spending each day working alongside a group of exceptional physicians and a leadership team who are second to none, in both managerial expertise and personal integrity.”
During his time with Medical Associates, Tallent navigated the organization through major changes within the healthcare industry and achieved a number of significant accomplishments: the first NCQA Medical Home designation in the Midwest, Iowa’s first medical group to implement electronic medical records, the preservation of access to local mental health services, and achieving the highest ranking possible for a Medicare Health Plan. In addition, Tallent focused on creating not only the highest level of quality and service within the organization, but also on creating an overall great place to work. During his tenure, Medical Associates was consistently recognized with high performance in patient, member, physician, and employee satisfaction.
Though many changes have taken place in the industry over the years, Tallent’s views on health care have remained the same. “Thinking back to when I began my health care career in 1986 to today, I really do not think my perspective on health care has changed,” said Tallent. “Thirty plus years ago I saw the health care industry as extremely complex and of tremendous value, and today I view it the same. Health care’s rate of change, importance, financing, politics, ethics, technology, etc. will probably continue to raise complex and intriguing challenges well into the future.”
In referring to accomplishment achieved by his team, he stated, “I am extremely proud of what Medical Associates has accomplished this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic in not only keeping the wheels on the bus but continuing to provide excellent healthcare services to the greater Dubuque community.”
Chad Nachtman, M.D., and President of Medical Associates, also commented, “We are so thankful to John Tallent for the leadership and vision he brought to Medical Associates and the impressive gains he made here,” he said. “He has strengthened access to quality care for patients and will leave a tremendous imprint on healthcare in the region.”
Over the last 22 years, Tallent served on a number of boards including the United Way Board of Trustees, Hills & Dales, Chamber of Commerce, Greater Dubuque Development, Mercy Foundation, American Trust, and Dubuque Bank & Trust.
The Medical Associates Clinic Board of Directors selected Zach Keeling early in 2020 as Tallent’s successor and they have been working throughout last year for a successful transition in January. Keeling joined Medical Associates as Chief Operating Officer of Medical Associates Health Plans in August of 2015.
“We are fortunate that Medical Associates is in a strong position with an exceptional group of high quality providers and a great team as well as a highly rated health plan,” said Keeling. “Healthcare is a complicated industry, and I look forward to leading the organization through the various challenges to come including increased demand based on demographics, a shortage of healthcare workers, and increased financial pressure to transform how care is delivered. We are committed to meeting these challenges to ensure our community has affordable access to the same high quality providers.”