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Renown Health Announces Leadership Changes

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Jim Miller --- Courtesy: Renown Health Jim Miller --- Courtesy: Renown Health
Interim CEO Donald C. Sibery --- Courtesy: Renown Health Interim CEO Donald C. Sibery --- Courtesy: Renown Health

From The Glenn Group

Renown Health today announced the departure of four executives and other changes following an independent review of issues related to its acquisition of Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates (SNCA).

Renown's Board of Directors engaged law firm Bryan Cave to conduct a comprehensive review of the SNCA matter as well as related investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Nevada that ultimately were settled.

Renown CEO Jim Miller has stepped down and will leave the health network. Three other Renown executives involved in the SNCA transaction – general counsel Kelly Testolin, vice president of system development Andy Pearl, and business development administrator Phil Schweber – have also left effective immediately.

"There is no question that things did not go as planned," said Renown Health board chairman David C. Line, "and for that we are sincerely sorry. As an organization, we have been committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to make sure that our policies, procedures and communications are as world-class as the health care we provide. If the execution of the SNCA transaction had been as solid as our intentions, none of this would have occurred."

To ensure continuity of leadership while a national search for a chief executive is under way, the board has named healthcare industry veteran Donald C. Sibery as interim Chief Executive Officer. Sibery brings to Renown more than 35 years of experience as a health system chief executive and chief operating officer. Line was also appointed to serve as Renown's president on a temporary basis to lend additional support to Sibery and the senior leadership team. Sheryl Feutz-Harter was appointed to the interim legal counsel role.

In announcing the changes, Line emphasized the depth of Renown's senior leaders, who average 24 years in healthcare. "We couldn't ask for a more capable and dedicated team," Line said.

To lend additional national perspective on emerging developments and best practices in healthcare, the board has elected as its newest member Michael Peterson, who most recently served as a top executive at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto, California, including eight years as its chief operating officer.

A Physician Collaboration Committee also will be established and be chaired by board member

and physician Lesley Smith. Additional details will be announced at a later date after Dr. Smith and others have discussed how best to structure the initiative to enhance trust and facilitate the sharing of ideas and concerns between the physician community and Renown.

"Renown remains committed to communicating to the community about these and other important issues and we will keep our key stakeholders, including physicians and the community up-to-speed on our progress," Line added.

Line emphasized that the region's heart leader will continue to build and expand services for the northern Nevada community. "Renown's vision for the heart institute remains intact: to provide the region's premier physicians, premier heart services and premier technologies all in one seamless integrated network. Seventeen physicians remain with Renown's Institute for Heart and Vascular Health and most of those are from the former Reno Heart Physician group.

Even in acknowledging that the changes are notable, Line encouraged keeping the recent situation in perspective.

"While we were dealing with this situation, each and every one the 5,000 people that make up the Renown family were busy doing what is most important and what we do best – caring for our community. In just the last 30 days, they helped bring more than 300 new babies into the world, performed 2,000 surgeries, treated 53,000 patients in our ERs, Urgent Care Centers and physician offices and admitted 2,500 patients to the hospital, including some very special Marines injured in the Hawthorne tragedy."

"We want our employees and our patients to know that we will emerge from this chapter stronger and better than ever."

Additional background, including clarification of certain inaccuracies reported by the media and other sources, is available at: www.heart-of-the-matter.org

From The Glenn Group

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Written by Erin Breen

"There was a total misunderstanding with the contracts and with what the physicians thought they would be paid and what Renown thought we'd be paying. If we had known all the facts, we would have gone another way and we wouldn't be here today," said Renown Board Chairman David Line.

Jim Miller, Kelly Testolin, Andy Pearl and Phil Schweber were all let go this morning. A national search for their replacements could take up to a year, Line said.

"They were all a part of the team that was responsible and we are holding them accountable," Live said. "There are no other personnel changes. We are though adding a committee of physicians to give the board on-going input and we have added more experienced members to our board of directors. We need a new chapter and plan to go forward in a positive manner from here."

Live says there will be no changes in care at the hospital other than their continuing expansion of services. In fact their new heart unit opens in April.

Written by Erin Breen

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