(News) M. Keith Weikel, retired chief operating officer of HCR ManorCare in Toledo, then the nation’s largest operator of long-term care and nursing centers hailed as an industry leader, died at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville on March 10, the day after his 83rd birthday.
He had myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of blood cancer. Even when he was sick, he kept in touch with friends and coworkers, a longstanding practice that included recent conversations with colleagues from the 1970s when he worked in the administrations of Nixon, Ford, and Carter, his wife Barbara said.
“There was absolutely no claim to him,” said his wife. “He wasn’t reluctant. He was who he was. He was approachable and comfortable with himself and other people. He made people comfortable to be around. He had a very strong work ethic.”
It whistled through the halls of HCR headquarters, was spontaneously sung and once opened a leadership conference by reading from the children’s book Love You Forever.
“He took care of it,” said David Parker, president of what is now ProMedica Senior Care. “And he found humor and made bad situations better because we all did what we thought was right, namely the quality of care and the mutual care. “
So he wanted to be remembered, said his wife – “He really cared about people. He often said that people don’t care what you know until they know you care. It is important that they People, especially in the medical field, you know care. “
When he retired in 2006, Mr. Weikel was Senior Executive Vice President of HCR ManorCare and Chief Operating Officer. After that, he and his wife divided their years between homes in Sylvania Township and Georgia.
In 1986 he joined Health Care and Retirement Corp., then a subsidiary of Owens-Illinois Inc., as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Midwest Division. He was elected Director of Operations in 1991 and Director of Company in 1992. For the past two years he has served as Chief Operating Officer of Manor Healthcare Corp., the long-term care unit of Manor Care Inc.
In the year Mr. Weikel retired, HCR was 565th on the Fortune 1000 list. He oversaw the operations, including clinical and rehabilitation services, of more than 500 senior care centers with approximately 60,000 employees in 32 states, including 114 hospice and home care facilities and 91 outpatient rehabilitation clinics.
In a message to staff announcing Mr. Weikel’s death, Mr. Parker said that under his leadership the organization “has become the supplier of choice in our markets across the country”.
“He was the architect of the culture of our organization as we know it today,” wrote Parker.
A March 12 article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, an industry publication, described Mr. Weikel’s diverse careers and cited Clif Porter II, senior vice president of government affairs for the American Health Care Association, whom Mr. Weikel once thought Administrator had hired a care facility. “Our sector has lost a titan,” Porter told McKnight’s.
Mr. Parker later agreed in a Blade interview: “There’s no doubt about it.
“He became not only my mentor, but also a surrogate father figure. He was very interested in me, as were many others,” said Mr. Parker, who was seeking a job with the company interviewed Mr. Weikel.
Mr. Weikel pointed out the new attitude that in every conversation with a politician or a government agency, the quality of care is the first thing to be discussed.
Malcolm Keith Weikel was born on March 9, 1938 in Danville, Pennsylvania to Marian and Malcolm Jay Weikel, the first of the couple’s two sons. He helped raise chickens and picked strawberries to supplement the family’s meager income. He graduated from Shamokin High School in 1956.
“His mother really wanted her boys to go to college. That was planned,” said his wife. “She sacrificed and everyone worked very hard.”
He continued to work in several jobs while attending Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in 1960. A plan for a degree in pharmacy evolved into a master’s degree and doctorate in economics and marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Business in 1966. He later served on the business school’s board of directors, and donations to the school helped create a prestigious chair and speaker series, both in leadership roles and named after him.
He started his career at the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. He had an ongoing interest in politics as, in 1967, as co-chair of the New Jersey Republicans, he supported the presidential bid from Richard Nixon, who would win the GOP nomination and then the presidency the next year. In 2004, he received a fundraiser announcement for the successful re-election of President George W. Bush, was named a “Ranger” by the campaign, and received more than $ 200,000 in individual contributions.
From 1970 to 1977 he served in the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare and was appointed Commissioner of the Medical Services Administration under the supervision of Medicaid. This task often involved testifying before congressional committees.
He then worked for a subsidiary of the American Medical International hospital company and became President of the Federation of American Hospitals.
His wife said he was active in the Epworth United Methodist Church in Ottawa Hills and co-chaired capital fund operations.
His wife, the former Barbara Joan Davis, whom he married on December 17, 1960, survived; Son Richard Keith Weikel; Daughter Kristin Holly Weikel; Brother Allen Jay Weikel and two grandchildren.
The family plans to celebrate his life in Toledo later this year. The arrangements are by Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home, Brunswick, Ga.
The family picks homages on Hand in Hand from Glynn in Brunswick, Georgia, or a Charitable organization chosen by the donor.
This is a message from Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected].
Posted in The Blade on March 21, 2021.