Benjamin A. Breier will become chief executive officer of Kindred Healthcare Inc., Louisville, Ky., on March 31, succeeding Paul J. Diaz, who will become executive vice chairman of the Kindred board of directors. Breier joined Kindred in 2005, was promoted to chief operating officer in 2010, and assumed the additional responsibilities of president in 2012.

Darlene Stephenson became CEO of Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital, Newport News, Va. She had been vice president of operations since 2005.

Rick Palagi became CEO of LifePoint Hospitals Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, Elko. He had been interim CEO since Aug. 7.

Christine M. Candio will become president and CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital, Chesterfield, Mo., in January. She has been CEO of Inova Alexandria Hospital in northern Virginia and senior vice president of Inova Health System. She also is the chair of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Candio will succeed Gary Olson, who plans to retire after a 36-year career at the hospital.

Thomas Malone, M.D., will become president and CEO of Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, on Jan. 1. He succeeds longtime CEO Tom Strauss, who is retiring Dec. 31. Malone currently serves as chief operating officer of Summa’s care delivery system. He joined the organization in the fall of 2013 from Michigan’s Harper University and Hutzel Women’s Hospital.

Jorge Trevino, R.N. became COO of Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, Dallas, in October. He was COO of Valley Baptist Health System, Harlingen, Texas.

Hugh Tappan will become president of HCA’s South Atlantic Division on Jan. 1. He replaces Jamie Thomas, who recently announced his retirement. Tappan will have responsibility for 12 hospitals in three states — Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. He was CEO of HCA’s Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kan.

Joseph Hooper became president of Community Health Network’s Community Howard Regional Health on Dec. 15. Hooper was COO of OhioHealth’s Marion General Hospital.

Srinivasan Suresh, M.D., became chief medical information officer of UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in November. Suresh has been a pediatric emergency medicine physician since 1996 and will continue to practice in the emergency department at Children’s.

Adrienne Boissy, M.D., will become chief experience officer of Cleveland Clinic on Jan. 1. She was on the Cleveland Clinic ethics committee and is the assistant clinical director in the Center for Neuroethics.

Brendon Cullinan, M.D., became vice president and medical director of population health and ambulatory services for North Memorial Health Care, Robbinsdale, Minn., in October. He was vice president and executive medical director for population health at HealthEast Care System, St. Paul, Minn.

Kim Bentley, R.N., was named vice president and administrator of DeKalb Medical Hillandale, a 100-bed hospital in Lithonia, Ga. Bentley had been executive director of patient care services and assistant administrator of Hillandale.

Anthony Keck was named senior vice president and chief development officer of Mountain States Health Alliance, Johnson City, Tenn. He had been director of South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services since 2011.


Kenneth H. Paulus will retire as CEO of Allina Health, Minneapolis, at the end of this year. Penny Wheeler, M.D., president and chief clinical officer, will succeed him. Paulus joined Allina in 2005 after serving as CEO of Massachusetts-based HealthOne Care System. During his tenure at Allina Health, he led a number of growth initiatives, including joint ventures, strategic partnerships and acquisitions that positioned it as market share leader in the region.

Major Gift

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota received a $1.5 million gift to expand what will become the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic. Rechelbacher, who died of pancreatic cancer in February, was founder of Aveda Corp. and Intelligent Nutrients. Stordalen was his wife and business partner. The donation will help fund a 10,000-square-foot space for the program, which manages pain by combining pharmacological therapies with integrative medicine such as aromatherapy and massage. 

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Connie Curran, nursing advocate, health care activist, and anti-cancer crusader, dies

Connie Curran, a leading advocate for nurses who urged hospitals to appoint more nurses to their boards and executive suites, died Nov. 10 of cancer. Curran became a health care consultant after serving as chief nursing officer of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, a vice president of the American Hospital Association and dean of the Medical College of Wisconsin. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from DePaul University and had served on its board since 2007. She was executive director of C-Change, a national advocacy organization dedicated to the eradication of cancer; wrote or co-wrote four books; and appeared on such television shows as “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”