UF MHA Alumni Spotlight: John Whiteside, Market CEO of SageWest HealthCare

John Whiteside, MHA, MBA, reflects on the influence of the UF MHA program nearly nine years following graduation.

John Whiteside, UF MHA Class of 2014

Class of 2014 alumnus, John Whiteside, MHA, MBA, was recently noted as one of the 107 community hospital CEO’s to know in 2023, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.

His most recent role as Market CEO of SageWest Health Care in Riverton and Lander, Wyoming, requires oversight of strategic, clinical, and financial responsibilities for the two-campus community hospital, which totals 172 patient beds and more than 500 employees. Since becoming CEO in 2021, Whiteside has successfully recruited and retained providers while simultaneously improving the quality and services of the hospital system.

Previously, Whiteside served in various roles, most recently as CEO of LifePoint Los Alamos Medical Center in New Mexico. Beforehand, he operated as COO of Mercy Regional Medical Center in Ville Platte, Louisiana, and earlier as Assistant Administrator at Putnam Community Medical Center in Palatka, Florida. He also served 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The UF Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program, Whiteside mentions, provided him business acumen with relatable healthcare knowledge he now utilizes to successfully offer quality and compassionate care as a cornerstone in the central Wyoming community.”

“A master’s program [teaches you how to bring about changes]. Change doesn’t happen overnight; you have to have a vision, the ability to execute a plan, and the strength to stick to the plan. A master’s program requires you to know the goal and take the hard courses alongside the easy courses to ultimately accomplish your end.”

Whiteside challenges current UF MHA students and aspiring hospital CEO’s to take action in achieving their goals. “Make a plan and write it down,” he states. “Visualize it and never stop. Everyone can say they want to be a CEO or a millionaire, but until you write a plan on how to get there, they are just words and a dream.”

Within his realm of work, Whiteside is passionate about developing future leaders with a focus on quality and compassion. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the vastness of the western United States where he can appreciate the beauty and diversity of the nation and its people.