BRISTOL - Douglas Devnew has the financial prowess to thrive in his new role as the chairman of the Bristol Hospital board of directors.
Devnew, a lifelong resident of Bristol, worked for 18 years at Trumpf Inc. in Farmington - the North American headquarters of Trumpf GmbH & Co., based in Germany.
“Doug’s transition to chairman of the board is a natural progression when you consider his financial and business expertise, his years of dedicated service on the board and the fact that he is a lifelong Bristol resident,” said Bristol Hospital President and CEO Kurt A. Barwis. “The Bristol Hospital community is grateful to have him in this leadership role.”
Devnew’s responsibilities with Trumpf included all financial functions, information technologies and human resources. Global revenues of the Trumpf Group - which manufactures equipment used for sheet metal processing and industrial lasers used in the manufacturing processes - exceeded $3 billion and sales of the NAFTA companies were over $600 million in fiscal year 2016.
Before his work at Trumpf, Devnew - who has an MBA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a BS in accounting from the University of Connecticut - served as an audit manager with a national accounting firm and as the CFO of a job shop in the plastics machining industry and a retail jewelry group.
The board that Devnew now chairs at Bristol Hospital gets the final say in all financial decisions and other important moves the hospital makes. His background in finance makes him more than qualified for this undertaking, his predecessor believes.
“He’s in a perfect position to know what to do in strategic planning and the changing marketplace,” said John Leone, the former Bristol Hospital chairman of the board. “That’s what he did while at Trumpf.”
During an interview last week, Devnew said most decisions the board makes are either approving or rejecting proposals made by Barwis and his “strategic plan team.” This was brought up during the hospital’s annual meeting last month - in which Devnew became the new chairman - when Leone said it was important for him to be honest with Barwis, who Leone described as a strong-willed person, when he thought the hospital president may not have been headed in the right direction with an idea.
Devnew last week said he’s fully prepared to tell Barwis when he believes he might be making a mistake, but he doesn’t expect to have to do it very often.
“We have a good board that’s not hesitant to question things,” Devnew said. “Everything is driven by the leadership of Kurt and his team, and they do a great job.”
Devnew began work with Bristol Hospital in 2010 when he joined its finance committee. A year later, he joined the board of directors. He is coming into his new role during a troublesome time for hospitals throughout the state and the nation. Funds could be cut at both the state and federal levels, Devnew acknowledges.
This could affect the timing of several projects the hospital has in the works, including opening a new 60,000-square-foot ambulatory care center in Bristol’s Centre Square and a major renovation project to the hospital’s Emergency Department. However, Devnew said, hospital officials possess the ability “to react” to anything that comes their way.
He’s confident nothing from the state or federal government will affect the “quality care” the hospital provides to the community.
“Nothing will ever jeopardize our quality care,” he said.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.