CHI Franciscan names new CEO

Ketul J. Patel 2CHI Franciscan Health named a new CEO Wednesday to replace retiring CEO Joe Wilczek.

CHI Franciscan‘s next top executive will be Ketul Patel, currently executive vice president and chief strategy and operations officer at the Hackensack University Health Network and Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

Patel starts Feb. 23, according to a news release. In addition to his CEO role, Patel will oversee Northwest operations for Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, CHI Franciscan’s parent company. The Northwest region includes two CHI hospitals in Oregon.

Kitsap’s Harrison Medical Center is part of the CHI Franciscan system, though it maintains its own board and president. Harrison named a new president in October. David Schultz will take the reins of the nonprofit medical system on Dec. 15.

Once both are in place, Schultz will report to Patel at CHI Franciscan who will report to CHI executive Michael Rowan.

Below is the full news release on the hiring of Patel:

Ketul J. Patel Named New CEO of CHI Franciscan Health

Longtime Health Care Executive Will Also Oversee

CHI’s Pacific Northwest Regional Operations

TACOMA – Dec. 3, 2014 — –Ketul J. Patel, an accomplished health care executive, has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CHI Franciscan Health and Senior Vice President of Divisional Operations for the Pacific Northwest Region of Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), CHI Franciscan Health announced today. Patel is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at Hackensack University Health Network and Hackensack University Medical Center, a 1,452-bed, 11,300-employee health care system based in northern New Jersey. Patel will succeed Joe Wilczek, CHI Franciscan Health’s current CEO, who is retiring after 16 years of leading the Tacoma-based health system. Patel will join CHI Franciscan Health in his new role on February 23, 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Ketul to the CHI family,” said Michael Rowan, president for health system delivery and chief operating officer of Catholic Health Initiatives. “We think he’s the perfect choice to lead CHI Franciscan Health during this challenging new era of dramatic change in the U.S. health care system. He brings broad experience in key areas such as strategic partnerships, quality improvement, operational excellence and strengthened alliances with physicians – all vitally important as we adapt to new delivery and payment models.”

“Ketul Patel is someone who understands the changing landscape of health care today and embraces the role of CHI Franciscan Health in building healthier communities for all, especially the poor and underserved,” said Roy Brooks, chairman of the CHI Franciscan Health Board, who served on the selection committee that included board members and physicians from throughout the system. “He is a nationally recognized leader who brings more than 20 years of health care experience that will enhance our ability to provide outstanding care and services to the residents of King, Pierce and Kitsap counties for years to come.”

Brooks noted that Patel will help CHI Franciscan Health continue to evolve while staying true to its mission as he assumes the role currently filled by Wilczek. “Joe has been the driving force behind CHI Franciscan Health’s growth in services and facilities and championed the implementation of our new electronic health records system that benefits clinicians and our patients now and into the future,” said Brooks.

Patel’s more than two decades of leadership experience involves several large health systems around the country. He joined Hackensack University Health Network in 2010 where he was responsible for strategy formulation and execution; network growth through partnerships and system-wide clinical integration; operational performance of medical centers and service lines; and physician development and partnership. He also served as the lead executive for the system’s cancer, cardiovascular, orthopedic, neurosciences, surgery and imaging service lines. His prior experience includes serving as vice president of operations for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Magee-Women’s Hospital; senior vice president at Franciscan Health Alliance St. James Health in Chicago; and vice president for strategic planning and business development at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me to lead CHI Franciscan Health,” said Patel. “Now, more than ever, healthcare involves a wide range of providers coordinating care to treat the entire patient – while they are sick, and also while they are healthy. CHI Franciscan has been a national leader in this philosophy of care, and I look forward to enhancing and maintaining the level of efficient and effective health care that the system provides.”  Patel also emphasized that “establishing strong relationships with the entire team of physicians, nurses and professionals will be of paramount importance to continue CHI Franciscan Health’s long-standing commitment to fulfilling the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of those we serve.”

As one of seven CHI senior vice presidents overseeing divisional operations across a national enterprise that includes 19 states, Patel will provide leadership and guidance for the implementation of key strategic and operational initiatives that facilitate system-wide effectiveness and optimal care delivery. These include such local and national initiatives as coordinated care, population-health management and clinically integrated networks in the Pacific Northwest Division, which is comprised of CHI Franciscan Health and two CHI facilities in Oregon – CHI Mercy Health, a 174-bed medical center located in Roseburg; and CHI St. Anthony Hospital, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in Pendleton.

He will work closely with hospital presidents in the division and across the entire enterprise, connecting and leveraging efforts toward quality and efficiency between national and local expertise to serve CHI’s mission of building healthier communities. Patel also will serve as the public face of the regional market, building on the existing strong relationships with key stakeholders that include local bishops; local, county and state executives and policy makers; and state and national political figures.

Patel holds master’s degrees in health administration and business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He has a bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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