Biz watch


• The Catholic Health Association in June presented Mercy's Sister Mary Roch Rocklage with its Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing how she guided Mercy through momentous growth and change to become a leader in health care delivery innovation and the sixth largest Catholic health system in the United States. Sister Roch's career in health care started more than 50 years ago as a nursing student and, over the years, led to positions of leadership, including hospital president, the Mercy health system's first president and chief executive officer, chair of the board and, today, health ministry liaison and board member. She shepherded Mercy's transition from individual hospitals to a system, and then to a new form of leadership designed to ensure the future of the health ministry with fewer Sisters of Mercy to serve. Mercy, based in Chesterfield, Mo., includes 32 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children's hospitals, three rehab hospitals and one orthopedic hospital, as well as clinics, physicians and outreach ministries in seven states.


Mark Nichols becomes CEO of LifePoint Hospital's Starr Regional Medical Center, Etowah, Tenn., on July 7. He was CEO of LewisGale Hospital Pulaski in Virginia, which is associated with LewisGale Regional Health System.

Karen Teitelbaum became president and CEO of Sinai Health System, Chicago, on July 1. She has been executive vice president and chief operating officer at Sinai for nearly seven years. Teitelbaum succeeds Alan Channing, who announced his retirement this spring after 10 years as CEO. The Sinai Health System includes Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Children's Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Medical Group.

Michael H. Covert will become CEO of CHI St. Luke's Health market in August. He also will be a senior vice president for Catholic Health Initiatives, the parent company of CHI St. Luke's Health. Covert was president and CEO of Palomar Health in San Diego.

Donald R. Gintzig became president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, N.C., in May. He had been interim president and CEO since October 2013. Gintzig was a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, where he oversaw more than 150,000 Navy personnel, 40 military treatment facilities, more than 200 clinics and budgets of more than $7 billion.

• Tenet Healthcare Corp. named Joseph Ottolino COO of West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, Ill., and Michael Ditoro COO of Westlake Hospital, Melrose Park, Ill. Ottolino was vice president of ancillary services at MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Ill. Ditoro was vice president of pharmacy services for Tenet's Chicago market.

Barbara Watson became senior vice president of clinical services for Community Hospital Corp., Plano, Texas, in May. She was chief nursing officer for Methodist Texsan Hospital/HCA, Methodist Healthcare System–San Antonio.

Albert L. Wright Jr., vice president for operations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Shadyside, will become president and CEO of West Virginia University Hospitals in August.

Sven Gierlinger became vice president and chief experience officer, a newly created position, for North Shore–LIJ Health System, Lake Success, N.Y. in June. Gierlinger was vice president of hospitality and service culture for Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Marc Miller became vice president of physician services, a newly created position, for Ardent Health Services, Nashville, Tenn., in June. He was president of Physician Health Partners ACO/CIN and senior vice president of physician services and business development at Munroe Regional Health System in Ocala, Fla.


• After 33 years in medicine, 20 of them in executive leadership roles, Essentia Health CEO Peter E. Person, M.D., will retire in 2015. Person joined the Duluth, Minn., organization as an internist in 1981. He was named Duluth Clinic president in 1995. In 1997, he was named CEO of the SMDC Health System, an integration of the Duluth Clinic and St. Mary's Medical Center. SMDC was the first of several successful system integrations Person facilitated during his career, including the formation of Essentia Health in 2004. The largest integration added Fargo-based Innovis Health in 2008. Person has been Essentia's CEO since its inception in 2004. Under his leadership, Essentia Health has grown into a fully integrated health system that reaches from northwestern Wisconsin to Idaho.

John M. Sernulka, CEO of Carroll Hospital Center, Westminster, Md., retired on July 1 after 26 years with the organization. Under his leadership, the organization expanded satellite health care services, built an inpatient hospice facility, created the Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County Inc., in conjunction with the Carroll County Health Department; developed Access Carroll, an integrated medical practice for low income residents of Carroll County, and organized Carroll Health Group, a multispecialty physician group. In addition, as president of the Carroll Hospital Center Foundation, Sernulka oversaw nearly $60 million in donations and the establishment of a $13 million endowment fund.

Frank Corvino, president and CEO of Greenwich (Conn.) Hospital will retire on Dec. 31. He also will retire as executive vice president of Yale New Haven Health system. Corvino joined Greenwich Hospital in 1988 as senior vice president and COO. He was promoted to president and CEO in 1991 and then became executive vice president with YNHHS in 1998. Greenwich Hospital joined the Yale New Haven Health System in 1998. Corvino launched two $70 million fundraising campaigns, resulting in the opening of the Leona and Harry B. Helmsley Medical Building and the Thomas and Olive C. Watson Pavilion. He serves on the board of the Connecticut Hospital Association and other boards, and his many awards include the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Malcolm T. MacEachern CEO Award.

Name Change

Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., plans to change its name to the University of Vermont Medical Center. Fletcher Allen Partners includes four hospitals in Vermont and New York. The renaming process is expected to take two years at a cost of $5.7 million.


Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare will merge into a $3.8 billion, nonprofit health care organization called Beaumont Health. The merged entity will include eight hospitals with 3,337 beds in southeastern Michigan, as well as 153 outpatient sites and 5,000 physicians.

Ascension Health and CHE-Trinity Health have created a new statewide clinically integrated network in Michigan called Together Health Network. It includes 27 hospitals and hundreds of ambulatory centers and physician offices.

Frederick Regional Health System, Meritus Health and Western Maryland Health System chose Trivergent Health Alliance as the name of their regional health care alliance, which aims to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance the quality of care. The group also named Raymond A. Grahe, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Meritus Health, Hagerstown, Md., as CEO of Trivergent Health Alliance MSO, the management services organization that is a subsidiary of the alliance.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp. are creating an affiliation intended to improve the availability, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care services, research and medical education in the Ohio Valley region. Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corp. is the parent company of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va., and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Under the affiliation agreement, the two health systems will remain independent.


H&HN's May Appointments section included incorrect information for Michael T. Hansen. He has been CEO of Columbus (Neb.) Community Hospital since November 2009. Prior to joining Columbus Community Hospital, Hansen was CEO of the Pender (Neb.) Community Hospital District. Before that, he held various positions at hospitals in Iowa, Texas, California and Louisiana.