UCHealth consolidates, shifts leadership teams

University of Colorado Health, one of the largest health care systems on the Front Range, announced a major shift in leadership, with Northern Colorado veteran Kevin Unger taking over a consolidated leadership team for Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, and with former MCR CEO George Hayes, moving south to take over Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.

The leadership changes and consolidations come as health care institutions nationwide search for ways to streamline operations and cut costs. Last week, national employment numbers revealed a drop in health care employment for the first time since 1993.

Unger, a Fort Collins native, said merging the leadership of the Fort Collins and Loveland hospitals was critical to achieving the operating efficiencies needed to cope with ongoing cost concerns.

“Both hospitals are running well and efficiently, but I think we’re going to see even tighter integration between Poudre Valley Health and the Medical Center of the Rockies. Any organization that isn’t looking at how they can do more with less won’t last very long.”

Unger said the Fort Collins and Loveland facilities have achieved significant savings through attrition, but that there may be some job reductions moving forward. “Last year we did not refill positions as people left, so now we’re around where we want to be.”

If more job cuts are needed, he said, “It won’t be as aggressive as it was last year.”

George Hayes, former president and CEO of Medical Center of the Rockies, echoed that sentiment. “All health care organizations, looking at how much everyone spends, have to be looking at cost efficiencies,” he said.

Hayes, a former Colorado Springs resident, said he will miss the staff at the Medical Center of the Rockies, a facility he was instrumental in launching. “I put my heart and soul into opening up MCR and I will miss the people there,” Hayes said.

Mike Scialdone resigns his post as Memorial Hospital CEO effective today, as does Memorial CFO Tracy Narvet.

“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,” UCHealth Interim CEO Bill Neff, MD said in a statement. “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.”

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