by Pam Zubeck
I wasn’t too surprised as the recent change in leadership at UCH led me to believe that other changes might soon follow. Mike was the perfect person to help lead Memorial through the transition with UCH. His experience in local healthcare and leadership with the Memorial staff helped to make the transition as seamless as possible. But, with change often comes a change in leadership and as Memorial continues to grow and expand its services under the lease, UCH must have believed a change in leadership would help them move to the next level. Our community owes Mike a debt of gratitude for his leadership during the transition to the UCH/Memorial lease. I look forward to working with the new leadership at Memorial.Meantime, here's the news release that puts a happy face on all this:
Aurora, Colo. (Jan. 17, 2014) – Three of University of Colorado Health’s hospitals, already among national leaders in medical outcomes and patient satisfaction, are realigning their leadership positions as part of a plan to further enhance quality patient care and performance in the region’s top health care system.We asked for a comment from Mayor Steve Bach, who also was a big proponent of the lease, but haven't heard back. If and when we do, we'll update.
Medical Center of the Rockies President and CEO George Hayes will take on the role of President and CEO of Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs while UCHealth Vice President of Finance & Controller Dan Rieber will become Memorial’s interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Poudre Valley Hospital President and CEO Kevin Unger will now handle those duties at both PVH and Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR), based in Fort Collins and Loveland, Co., respectively.
UCHealth thanks Memorial Hospital’s CEO, Mike Scialdone, and CFO, Tracy Narvet, for their great work improving Memorial’s quality and patient services through a transition from government to private operation. They have resigned effective January 17, and the new leaders will assume their roles on the same day.
“These changes are another important step in the growth and future of UCHealth’s hospitals and the evolution of a new kind of health care system,” said UCHealth Interim CEO Bill Neff, MD. “In Colorado Springs, George Hayes brings decades of experience and nationally recognized quality results to Memorial Hospital. In northern Colorado, Kevin Unger is an extremely experienced and talented CEO who has helped make PVH and its partner MCR the dominant health care providers in northern Colorado with some of the nation’s highest patient satisfaction scores.”
While these leadership changes are focused on increasing quality and performance for Memorial, they also bring Hayes closer to his roots and family in Colorado Springs. Hayes attended Widefield High School while his father worked for the United States Civil Service at Fort Carson.
“I’m excited and honored to continue Memorial’s proud tradition of serving the Colorado Springs region, as well as our military men and women,” said Hayes. “This is also an exciting time for Memorial with its expanding services, new partnerships and some of the finest nurses and doctors in the Rocky Mountain Region all focused on providing the best possible care for southern Colorado patients.”
Hayes says his first focus at Memorial will be engaging with physicians and developing relationships with employees.
Kevin Unger, who was born at Poudre Valley Hospital, is looking forward to expanding his role to also leading MCR in Loveland. “These hospitals already work very closely together – many physicians and even nurses spend time at both locations – so this provides an even greater opportunity to integrate our northern Colorado hospitals,” said Unger. “The team in northern Colorado should also be proud that one of our leaders is being tapped to bring our experience to Memorial Hospital.”
“We’ve always said that one of the strengths of UCHealth is our ability to draw on the individual strengths of our hospitals and implement those across the entire system,” said UCHealth CFO Anthony DeFurio. “George Hayes has twice worked in organizations that have been honored with the Baldrige National Quality Award, and he is experienced at raising a nursing workforce to Magnet status. This is exciting news for the Colorado Springs region.”
Memorial’s Interim CFO, Dan Rieber, has extensive experience fostering exemplary financial performance at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Colorado Hospital and for the past two years at UCHealth. While Memorial has been making advances in this area since joining with UCHealth in 2012, Rieber will help elevate the hospital’s financial operations to enable continued growth in patient services and community benefits.