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UAB names interim leader as CEO, and more | MED MOVES


Intermountain Health selects COO, Steward Health hires diversity leader, Cleveland Clinic picks a CFO, and others take on new roles.

Dawn Bulgarella has been named chief executive officer of the UAB Health System and CEO of the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance.

Dawn Bulgarella

Dawn Bulgarella

Bulgarella has held the role in an interim capacity since June 2022. The University of Alabama’s board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of making her the permanent CEO on Feb. 3. UA System Chancellor Finis St. John recommended the hiring of Bulgarella, in consultation with UAB President Ray Watts.

In a statement, she said she looks forward "to continuing to build a sustainable health system that helps patients across Alabama."

“The UAB Health System is connecting more patients than ever to world-class care, and many opportunities remain for us to expand our reach and impact for our patients, UAB Medicine employees, community and state,” Bulgarella said in a statement.

Bulgarella joined the organization 30 years ago. Most recently, she served as president of the UAB Health System and CFO for the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance.

Anupam Agarwal

Anupam Agarwal

In another move at UAB, Anupam Agarwal has been named dean of the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, senior vice president of Medicine and chair of the Health Services Foundation Board. Watts made the announcement Feb. 3. Agrawal had also been serving in an interim role since June 2022.

“I look forward to continuing to work with and serve Heersink School of Medicine students, faculty and staff and to collaborate with university, Health System and University of Alabama System leaders, as well as our many partners and supporters,” Agarwal said in a statement.

The two leaders have been “extremely effective throughout their long careers at UAB,” Watts said.

“They both clearly exhibited the knowledge, talent and leadership required to ensure UAB Medicine’s continued ascent as a national leader in health care,” Watts said in a statement. “They have played an invaluable role in our unprecedented success, and the continuity of their leadership will propel us even further.”

Nannette Berensen

Nannette Berensen

Intermountain Health selects chief operating officer

Nannette Berensen has been named the new chief operating officer for Intermountain Health.

Berensen, who has been with Intermountain for years, will oversee operations across the organization. She has held many leadership roles at Intermountain, including her most recent position as vice president and chief operating officer of clinical shared services.

She worked at Intermountain during college as a phlebotomist, and then left for other roles outside the organization. Berensen returned to Intermountain in 2006 and has been with the organization ever since.

Berensen says she is “honored, humbled, and excited to serve as COO.”

“I am passionate about what Intermountain Health stands for as an organization and so grateful for the work our 60,000 caregivers engage in every day to make a difference in peoples’ lives and to serve our communities well,” she said in a statement. “There are formidable challenges facing healthcare that will require the collective wisdom and efforts of all of us to position Intermountain Health for future success. I am confident that by working together, we will be successful.”

Rob Allen, Intermountain president and CEO, said in a statement that Berensen possesses “a unique ability to drive innovation, bring teams together, and improve the patient experience.”

“We need leaders like Nannette who are respected by our colleagues, put patients and caregivers first, and can deliver on our mission. I join other leaders across Intermountain in congratulating her, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Based in Utah, Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system operating 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, and other care sites across the western U.S.

Marisela Marrero

Marisela Marrero

Steward Health Care appoints first diversity leader

Marisela Marrero has been selected as the first diversity leader of Steward Health Care.

Marrero will serve as the system’s senior vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will report directly to Steward Chairman and CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre.

Marrero had been serving as interim president of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

“As a Latina doctor, this work is incredibly personal and important to me, and I’m excited to help grow Steward’s efforts on health care equity and DEI across our national health system,” Marrero said in a statement.

“I want to help ensure that we are a truly diverse organization ready to tackle the difficult barriers to equity in the communities we serve,” she said. “I have experienced access issues, payer inequity, and the struggles of diverse communities, and I am committed to addressing them. I’m grateful for this opportunity and ready to get to work on behalf of our patients and staff.”

As Marrero moves into her new role, Paul Smith has been named president of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

Smith had been working with Tenet Healthcare, where he served as the chief operating officer for Saint Vincent Hospital and Tenet’s Massachusetts market. Previously, Mr. Smith had spent seven years at Steward in various capacities, including COO of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and vice president of operations at Holy Family Hospital.

Dennis L. Laraway

Dennis L. Laraway

Cleveland Clinic choose chief financial officer

Dennis L. Laraway will be joining Cleveland Clinic as the organization’s new chief financial officer.

Laraway will take the post on March 13. He has been serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Banner Health, a $12 billion health system based in Phoenix. Banner Health operates 32 hospitals across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

“Cleveland Clinic’s clinical, teaching, and research capabilities are world-class. I’ve found the culture and leadership teams across the enterprise to be equally impressive,” Laraway said in a statement. “This is a compelling opportunity and I’m honored to join the team as we lead the Cleveland Clinic through some of the most disruptive challenges seen in our nation’s (and global) health sector.”

Laraway succeeds Tony Helton, who has served as Cleveland Clinic’s interim chief financial officer since May 2022. He will return to his previous role as Cleveland Clinic’s executive director of revenue cycle management.

Previously, Laraway held positions as chief financial officer at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston; Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas; St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center in Phoenix; and Seton Health System in Troy, N.Y.

Bill Heegaard

Bill Heegaard

Essentia Health shifts president to eastern region

Bill Heegaard is moving from west to east.

Heegaard has been named Essentia Health’s East Market president, following the retirement of his predecessor, Dr. Jon Pryor. Heegaard had been serving as the president of Essentia’s West Market.

The health system’s eastern market covers much of northeastern Minnesota, stretching from Brainerd, Minnesota, to Ashland, Wisconsin.

He will begin transitioning to his new position in the next several weeks, and he will assume his new role on April 1.

“Dr. Heegaard’s extensive qualifications, positive energy and dedication to delivering on our mission all contributed to the highest recommendations from those involved in the rigorous selection process,” Essentia Health CEO David C. Herman said in a statement.

Heegaard joined Essentia in April 2020. Previously, he served as chief medical officer and chief clinical officer at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis.

Kelly Linden

Kelly Linden

Casa Colina Hospital hires CEO

Kelly Linden just began her new role as president and CEO of Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare.

Linden took the post on Feb. 6.

“I am beyond proud to be joining an institution like Casa Colina, which offers so much value to its patients and their families,” Linden said in a statement.

“From its humble start as a treatment center for children with polio, to its more recent expansions into medical and surgical services, Casa Colina has shown itself to be nimble, dynamic, and responsive to the changing needs of the community,” she said. “I look forward to carrying on that 85-year tradition of excellent, patient-centered care.”

Linden succeeds Felice L. Loverso, the outgoing president and CEO. Loverso oversaw the reconstruction of Casa Colina’s Pomona campus and returned the institution back to its core business of acute hospital-based rehabilitation.

Previously, Linden served as chief executive of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California from 2017 to 2021. From 2012 to 2017, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California.

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