BVHS Names New Chief Medical Officer

Blanchard Valley Health System has announced that Renee Smith will become its new chief medical officer (CMO).

Dr. Smith comes to BVHS from Aspirus Network, Inc. (ANI), a clinically integrated provider network in Wausau, Wisconsin with more than 1,100 physicians, advanced practice clinicians and other providers with 110 practices.

She will take over from current CMO, Dr. Michael Denike, who is returning full-time to his cardiology practice within BVHS.

“Dr. Smith has an extensive background, which includes years of experience in key leadership roles throughout her career,” stated Myron D. Lewis, president and chief executive officer of BVHS.

“We used a recruitment firm that conducted a national search in order to find the strongest candidate to fill this role. She’s an exceptional fit for our culture and we are very excited to welcome her to our family of professionals.”

Most recently, she served ANI in the capacity of executive director (since 2016) and as medical branch director – emergency operations center (since 2020).

In 2015, Dr. Smith accepted the role of chief medical officer for ANI, a role she held until 2020. Prior to serving as CMO at ANI, Dr. Smith held several administrative roles at Aspirus Langlade Hospital in Antigo, Wisconsin, which include CMO, chief of staff and regional director.

During her time with ANI, Dr. Smith also served as a family physician at Aspirus Antigo Clinic, where she practiced on a limited basis since 2006.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in medical microbiology and immunology from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh).

Dr. Smith obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her family medicine residency at Waukesha Family Practice, an affiliate of the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Additionally, Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Group Practice Improvement Network and the Wisconsin Medical Society.

“I am truly excited to be joining a collaborative group of healthcare leaders. From what I’ve seen, Myron has done a great job, in a short time, of setting his direction for where he anticipates the organization is going to go, and creating consistent messages about that,” Dr. Smith noted.

“As I interviewed, it felt as everybody was rowing in the same direction. They know where they fit into the vision and strategy, which is great. I feel fortunate to be able to help the organization accomplish that.”

Dr. Smith and her husband, Michael, a general contractor, have four children: Dominic (20), Sam (10), Lilly (8) and Lizzy (7). In her spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys horseback riding (along with her daughters), reading, watching her kids’ sporting events and watching high school, college and professional football.

Dr. Smith will begin her role at BVHS on November 11, 2021.

“BVHS seems like a really strong organization, with a strong culture. The community seems really respectful and proud of this organization, and I think that is a really great situation to come into,” Dr. Smith stated.

“I’m looking forward to challenging myself in this role and learning how we can ensure that we are optimizing all the parts and pieces of healthcare we have for our patients.”