‘Never re­gret­ted’ be­com­ing CEO

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - An­dis Robeznieks

niza­tion in 1997, when Den­ver Health, Colorado’s safety net provider an­chored by the Den­ver Health Med­i­cal Cen­ter, changed its name from Den­ver Gen­eral, and switched from be­ing a city-owned man­aged health­care or­ga­ni­za­tion into an independent po­lit­i­cal sub­di­vi­sion of the state.

“I be­lieve in an in­te­grated sys­tem of care,” she said. “I be­lieve in em­ployed physi­cians, and I be­lieve in global pay­ments to get rid of fee-for-ser­vice.”

Den­ver Health has op­er­ated in the black since 1991, and Gabow im­ple­mented pro­ce­dures based on the Toy­ota Pro­duc­tion Sys­tem, which are said to have re­sulted in sav­ings of $120 mil­lion since 2006.

The com­mu­nity ap­par­ently trusts Gabow with its money, as ev­i­denced by voter ap­proval of a $148 mil­lion bond is­sue in 2003 and their OK to bor­row an­other $5.8 mil­lion in bonds in 2008.

Gabow, 67, was named to Modern Health­care’s Top 25 Women in Health­care and 100 Most In­flu­en­tial Peo­ple in Health­care lists twice each, and to the 50 Most In­flu­en­tial Physi­cian Ex­ec­u­tives list four times.

Anne Warhover, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Colorado Health Foun­da­tion, said in an e-mail that Gabow’s work is rec­og­nized lo­cally as well “and has po­si­tioned Colorado at the fore­front of peo­ple-fo­cused health re­form.”

Gabow is ex­pected to re­turn to the sys­tem to help her suc­ces­sor with the tran­si­tion af­ter a three-month sep­a­ra­tion re­quired un­der Den­ver Health pol­icy, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease the sys­tem.

Gabow said her mother ques­tioned her de­ci­sion to be­come a CEO say­ing, “Why are you do­ing that? I thought you went to med school to take care of peo­ple?” But Gabow coun­tered that she knew she could as­sist more peo­ple as the ad­min­is­tra­tor of sys­tem than as a doc­tor help­ing one pa­tient at a time.

“I’ve never re­gret­ted it,” Gabow said.

Gabow will re­turn to help suc­ces­sor with tran­si­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.