MyMichigan Health CEO Diane Postler-Slattery, husband die in plane crash in Florida

MyMichigan Health president and CEO Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., and her husband, Don, died Tuesday night following a plane crash in northwest Florida.

Officials with the Midland-based health system, formerly MidMichigan Health, announced the news Wednesday.

“This is a great tragedy for our health system,” said Greg Rogers, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MyMichigan Health, in a statement. “Diane was a strong, passionate and inspirational leader and was beloved by her family, friends and colleagues. We ask that you keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers, and that you respect their privacy during this difficult time."

Rogers is currently functioning as acting CEO for the health system until further action is taken, the health system said.

Postler-Stattery, 62, and her husband were believed to have been on board a single-engine Cessna 182 that went missing around 7 p.m. Tuesday about two miles from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, Florida, the Detroit News reported, citing information reported by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane, which was found in a densely wooded area near the airport, belonged to Donald Slattery, according to WJHG.

The plane disappeared from radar around 7 p.m. Tuesday night two miles north of the airport, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office reported on social media. The plane was flying originally from Michigan and had stopped at McMinnville, Tennessee, before taking off for the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

Multiple agencies were involved in the search for the plane, which was eventually found using drones in a densely wooded area, sheriff's officials reported.

“She was a visionary and under her leadership we greatly expanded our health system, including affiliations with our Medical Centers in Alpena, West Branch and most recently Sault St. Marie,” Rogers said in a statement. “As a nurse herself, she was committed to patient care and the highest level of safety and patient satisfaction. In fact, the comfort for patients and their families was of utmost importance to her ensuring any new facility had a warm, homelike setting including her favorite feature—a cozy fireplace.”

Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, issued a statement saying, "We are devastated by the loss of MyMichigan Health President and CEO Diane Postler-Slattery and her husband, Don. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends as they absorb this extraordinary loss. We are also sending our condolences to the MyMichigan Health team members in all the communities they serve."

Postler-Slattery became president and CEO of MyMichigan Health on Jan. 14, 2013, which brought her and her husband to Michigan. Prior to that, she served as president and chief operating officer of Aspirus Wausau Hospital and senior vice president of quality and extended services for the Aspirus system, according to MyMichigan Health's statement.

She was a current member of the MHA Board of Trustees and the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board, where she always acted as a strong advocate for advancing the health of individuals and communities, Peters said.

"Diane never hesitated to speak up for what she believed in. She loved serving her team at MyMichigan Health, and her voice and leadership will be missed terribly. We will always remember Diane and Don as good colleagues, good people and good friends. May they both rest peacefully," he said.

Postler-Slattery held a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as a Master of Science in nursing/nursing administration and Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The healthcare executive was active in many professional and civic organizations and was a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, according to the health system. During her career, she was the recipient of numerous awards including Woman of Vision, Athena, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire President’s Award; State of Wisconsin Nurse Leader of the Year; and State of Wisconsin Champion in Women’s Health.

The couple is survived by three children and five grandchildren.