MED MOVES: UPMC names first CEO for hospital in China, and more

Kaiser Permanente picks a president for the Georgia market, and Denver Health’s CEO is planning to step down this year.

CEO named for UPMC hospital in China

UPMC plans to manage a hospital in China and has announced Randy Jernejcic will be the facility’s chief executive officer.

Jernejcic will serve as the first CEO of the hospital, beginning on Feb. 1, 2022. The hospital is slated to open in 2023. Wanda Group, a conglomerate based in China, owns the facility and UPMC will manage it.

The Chengdu Wanda UPMC International Hospital is a 500-bed facility in southwestern China. UPMC touts it as the first hospital in China to be run by an American academic medical center.

Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International and executive vice president of UPMC, said Jernejcic is “the perfect leader to ensure our success in Chengdu and beyond.”

“As someone with long experience in driving the development of high-quality, high-value health care both nationally and internationally, Dr. Jernejcic is the right person to lead our trail-blazing hospital in China,” Bogosta said in a statement.

“As the model for our future hospitals to be developed with Wanda, the Chengdu facility is a vitally important part of our efforts to extend UPMC’s clinical excellence to patients in China. Randy understands our mission as a leading academic medical center and the complexities of operating internationally.”

Since 2017, Jernejcic has been an executive at University Hospitals of Cleveland, most recently as vice president of ambulatory quality and clinical transformation. He is a founder of Clinical Quality Consultants, a consulting group focused on helping international health care organizations.

From 2010-2012, Jernejcic served as chief medical officer of United Family Hospital in Beijing.

UPMC names president of children’s hospital

Diane Hupp has been named the new president of UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Hupp has worked at UPMC Children’s Hospital for 36 years, initially as a volunteer. She has held various leadership roles. Most recently, Hupp has served as chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services and vice president of Operations.

“It is a great honor and privilege to now serve as president of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh,” Hupp said in a statement.

“Delivering the highest level of care to our children and families has been a passion for the majority of my life and I am simply humbled and grateful for the opportunity. The community and beyond needs us now more than ever as we commit to continuing to serve all who seek our care.”

Hupp has played a leading role in the hospital’s COVID-19 response and has spearheaded community vaccination efforts, including a mass clinic with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the city’s pro hockey team.

Mark Sevco, president of UPMC Hospitals, said it was clear Hupp is the right leader for UPMC Children’s Hospital.

“Diane has dedicated her many talents to our goal of providing the right care for every patient, every time, while inspiring high patient and family satisfaction,” Sevco said in a statement.

Kaiser Permanente names Georgia president

Pamela Shipley has been named Kaiser Permanente’s regional president in Georgia, the system announced.

She assumed the role Jan. 18. Kaiser Permanente provides care and coverage for more than 317,000 people in Georgia.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Shipley served as chief operating officer of Sharecare, Inc., a virtual health solutions company based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shipley spent 12 years with the Centene Corporation, a managed care company based in St. Louis, Missouri. She served in various leadership roles, including senior vice president with oversight of more than 15 markets with cumulative revenues of $17 billion.  Earlier in her career, Shipley spent 5 years with UnitedHealthcare.

Kaiser Permanente has ambitious plans in Georgia, noted Greg A. Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.

“We are engaged in critically important work in Georgia, as we strive to provide excellent care and coverage to more Georgians, continue to address health care affordability, and improve the health of the communities we serve,” Adams said in a statement. “We are excited to have Pam bring her expertise and leadership to help us drive this important work.”

Denver Health CEO plans to retire

Robin Wittenstein, CEO of Denver Health, has announced she intends to retire later this year.

Wittenstein joined Denver Health in 2017. The hospital has established a committee to conduct a national search to find Wittenstein’s successor. Wittenstein plans to serve through August to ensure a smooth transition, the system said.

Patricia Dean, chair of Denver Health’s board of directors, said the system is grateful for Wittenstein’s service to the safety net hospital. Denver Health says it delivers care to about one-third of the city’s population, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Under her leadership, Denver Health has made tremendous strides in building a vision and a strategy to meaningfully address health disparities and inequities; furthered our role as an Anchor Institution in the community; and navigated the remarkable challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dean said in a statement.

Denver Health said it will seek input from key community leaders as the system searches for a new CEO. The system has 7,800 employees.

HCA hospital in Va. gets new CEO

Ryan DeWeese has been named CEO of Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, according to a release from HCA Virginia.

DeWeese will begin in his new role on Feb. 14, 2022. It’s familiar territory for DeWeese. He previously had a stint as chief operating officer at Spotsylvania.

He currently serves as chief operating officer of Ocala Health, HCA Healthcare’s sister hospital in Ocala, Fla. Previously, DeWeese was an assistant administrator at Reston Hospital Center in Reston, Va., associate administrator at Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Va., and chief operating officer at Frankfort Regional Medical Center and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Tim McManus, president of HCA Healthcare’s Capital Division, said DeWeese has developed his leadership skills with each step of his career.

“His leadership style has resulted in improved patient experience, and has helped lead hospitals to continued growth and improvement,” McManus said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome him back to our Capital Division team and have him take the helm at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center during this challenging time in the healthcare industry.”

Encompass Health names CEO for new hospital

The Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Lakeland, Fla. is set to open in March 2022, and the facility has its chief executve.

Sharon Hayes has been named CEO of the 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital. The hospital will provide 24-hours nursing care and therapies to patients recovering from major illnesses.

A registered nurse, Hayes possesses more than 20 years of leadership experience in acute care settings, Encompass Health said in a news release.

Most recently, Hayes served as CEO of several Community Health Systems (CHS) hospitals, including Bayfront Health in both Brooksville and Spring Hill, Florida, and Bayfront Health Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Hayes also served as CEO at HCA-operated hospitals from 2012 to 2019, and in leadership roles at CJW Medical Center, an HCA facility, for seven years. She previously served as chief nursing officer and administrator at Jack Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“Sharon’s extensive experience in various healthcare leadership roles makes her a perfect fit to lead our new Encompass Health hospital in Lakeland,” Lori Bedard, president of Encompass Health’s Southeast region, said in a statement.

“I am confident in Sharon’s vision for the hospital and look forward to opening this new hospital to help patients heal and find hope again through rehabilitative services customized for their needs and goals.”