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MED MOVES: Children’s National Hospital president is retiring, and more


University Hospitals in Ohio names a chief diversity officer, Riverside Health System announces a change at the top, and more leaders make moves.

After 11 years of leading Children’s National Hospital, Kurt Newman says he plans to step down.

Kurt Newman

Kurt Newman

Newman, 71, said this week he is retiring as president and CEO. He is going to continue to lead the organization while the hospital’s board of trustees searchers for his replacement.

“Leading this incredible institution is the privilege of a lifetime. It’s difficult to prepare to retire from a job and career that you love, but the time is right,” Newman said in a statement.

“Children’s National is stronger than ever, and that is the best time to think about succession,” he said. “I know many talented people will pursue the chance to lead this amazing organization. I will do all I can to support the search and ensure a successful and smooth transition.”

Children’s National placed No. 5 nationally in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals annual rankings. The hospital recently opened the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus on the grounds of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Horacio Rozanski, chair of the Children’s National Board of Directors, said Newman’s impact on the hospital has been “transformational.”

“He has skillfully led the team through challenging times and helped elevate Children’s National to one of the top hospitals in the nation,” Rozanski said in a statement. “His success will help the board recruit a remarkable leader to build upon his incredible legacy. We are incredibly grateful to Kurt for all he has done and continues to do for Children’s National.”

Celina Cunanan

Celina Cunanan

University Hospitals appoints chief diversity officer

Celina Cunanan has been named the new chief diversity, equity and belonging officer of University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cunanan had been serving as director of the system’s office of community impact, equity, diversity and inclusion. She was credited with expanding food and nutrition guidance to families and a program to help expand the system’s visibility to medical students from underepresented groups.

“I'm humbled and honored to take on this Inaugural leadership role for UH, my organization that has been my home and supported me as a clinician leader of color for the past 21 years,” Cunanan said in a statement.

“This investment in my role and office shows UH's commitment to prioritizing health equity and a culture of belonging for all both inside our organization and in our surrounding communities,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to grow and develop our programs, strategies, and partnerships to support the overall well-being of all that we service.”

University Hospitals CEO Cliff Megerian said Cunanan will develop strategies to promote a culture of equity within the system.

“To create a unique and differentiating culture based on ‘trust’, we must have a leader keenly focused on promoting a culture that values the contributions of our caregivers, patients and community members and who is committed to building an inclusive, encouraging, and caring environment where all can thrive,” Megerian said.

Cunanan has been with University Hospitals for years.

She was the first division director for nurse-midwifery in the system’s obstetrics department from 2007 through June 2022. She was also the system’s chief for nurse-midwifery since 2017.

Bill Downey, left, and Michael J. Dacey

Bill Downey, left, and Michael J. Dacey

Riverside Health System in Va. selects new CEO

Michael J. Dacey has been named the new chief executive officer of Riverside Health System in Virginia.

Dacey will serve as both president and CEO beginning January 1, 2023. He has been serving as president and chief operating officer.

He will be succeeding longtime Riverside CEO Bill Downey, who will move into the role of executive vice chairman and special advisor for Riverside. Downey plans to stay in that capacity until retiring in 2024.

Dacey first joined Riverside in 2018. He also held leadership positions at Care New England.

In a statement, he praised Downey’s leadership and looked ahead.

“Bill is a storied health care leader in Virginia whose many accomplishments at Riverside will continue to benefit patients for many years to come,” Dacey said in the statement. “He leaves the entire health system extremely well-positioned for continued growth and excellence in patient and resident care.

“We have an outstanding group of clinical leaders, providers, nurses, and team members with a shared goal of continually improving the patient and consumer experience by delivering high-quality, affordable care,” Dacey said.

Riverside operates four acute care hospitals, three specialty hospitals and more than 100 medical group offices throughout coastal Virginia. The system employs more than 9,500 workers.

Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp

New CEO named for three hospitals in Colorado Springs

Patrick Sharp has been named the new chief executive officer for Centura Health’s three hospitals in Colorado Springs.

Sharp will serve as CEO of Penrose Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and St. Francis Hospital - Interquest. He starts in his new role on October 3.

He has been serving as CEO of Mercy Hospital in Durango, Colo., a hospital in the Centura system. The system said in a news release that he enhanced access to healthcare in the Four Corners region through community partnerships and expanded medical services, including an ambulatory surgery center set to break ground this fall.

“I look forward to building the future of health care in such a diverse and dynamic community – a community that has experienced the high quality, compassionate care Centura has provided since the 1880s,” Sharp said in a statement.

“I have witnessed the compassion, kindness and commitment to public good through the caregivers at Mercy Hospital and I know those same qualities are what make Penrose and St. Francis such a comforting place to our friends and neighbors.”

Before joining Mercy Hospital, Sharp served as president and CEO of Fairview Range Regional Medical Center in Hibbing, Minn., where he led the hospital, primary and specialty care clinics and home health and hospice services.

Louis J. Woolf

Louis J. Woolf

Leader of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston plans to step down

Louis J. Woolf, who has served as president and CEO of Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston for 14 years, has said he plans to retire.

Woolf said he plans to step down in June 2023, which the organization said will allow enough time to find a new CEO. A nonprofit organization, Hebrew SeniorLife serves more than 3,000 seniors across six campuses in the Boston area each day.

“Being the leader of HSL has been the opportunity and experience of a lifetime,” Woolf said in a news release. “It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside HSL’s dedicated and compassionate employees, board members, trustees, and donors, and I’m so incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished together to serve our senior community.”

“At age 68 and with five grandchildren, I’m ready to follow the advice we provide all older adults and fully engage in my post-career best life,” Woolf said. “Also, with the significant changes occurring in our society and in the health care and social services ecosystems, I believe this is a good time to establish a new HSL leader with a longer-term horizon who can steer this amazing organization into the future.”

During his tenure at Hebrew SeniorLife, Woolf led a period of steady revenue growth, from $150 million in 2009 to $248 million in 2021.

Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose

Montana hospital names new CEO

Taylor Rose has been named the new chief executive officer for Barrett Hospital and HealthCare in Dillon, Montana.

Rose takes the new role beginning Sept. 19. He succeeds Scott Manis, who has served as interim CEO following the departure of the organization’s longtime CEO, Ken Westman, last January.

Previously, Rose served as the administrator for Big Sky Medical Center, a member hospital of Bozeman Health. He has extensive hospital and healthcare experience, holding leadership posts at hospitals in Montana, Washington, and Utah.

Patti Mitchell, president of Barrett’s board, said Rose brings a wealth of experience to the role.

“He has excellent experience in hospital management and looks forward to introducing new services as we continue to grow our hospital and our offerings,” Mitchell said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Barrett Hospital & HealthCare was named among the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals by the National Rural Health Association.

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