Builders of UC Health to leave

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - Andis Robeznieks and Beth Kutscher

Af­ter build­ing it, they will leave. Ru­lon Stacey and Bruce Schrof­fel, who helped cre­ate Univer­sity of Colorado Health three years ago, are step­ping down from their re­spec­tive po­si­tions as pres­i­dent and CEO, ef­fec­tive Jan. 31.

Schrof­fel was pres­i­dent and CEO of the Univer­sity of Colorado Hos­pi­tal, Aurora, and Stacey, pres­i­dent and CEO of Poudre Val­ley Health Sys­tem in Fort Collins, when they be­gan talks in 2010 to merge. A let­ter of in­tent was signed the fol­low­ing June, and a joint op­er­at­ing agree­ment was fi­nal­ized in Jan­uary 2012. Be­fore it even be­came an of­fi­cial en­tity, Stacey and Schrof­fel per­suaded city lead­ers in Colorado Springs to choose UC Health over sev­eral other suit­ors to man­age the mu­nic­i­pally owned Me­mo­rial Health Sys­tem.

Last Au­gust, vot­ers ap­proved the $1.8 bil­lion, 30-year lease which brings in Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Colorado, Aurora, as a sub­con­trac­tor to man­age Me­mo­rial’s 100 pe­di­atric beds. On Jan. 1, UC Health crossed the state bor­der and be­gan man­ag­ing Ivin­son Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, a 90-bed in­sti­tu­tion in Laramie, Wyo.

“Bruce and Ru­lon, they formed the sys­tem to­gether,” said spokesman Dan Weaver. “They’ve worked closely to­gether. So I think it’s not so sur­pris­ing that they de­cided to leave to­gether.”

Stacey, 53, will spend the next six months fo­cused on the tran­si­tion and plan­ning his next move, Weaver said. Schrof­fel, 62, plans to re­tire. “This was their de­ci­sion,” Weaver said. Orig­i­nally, Schrof­fel was pres­i­dent and Stacey was CEO, but they switched roles in June 2012, so Schrof­fel could fo­cus on op­er­a­tions and Stacey could de­velop busi­ness strat­egy, part­ner­ships, mar­ket­ing and govern­ment re­la­tions. Aurora-based UC Health plans to com­bine the two po­si­tions. Dr. Wil­liam Neff, the sys­tem’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, will serve as in­terim pres­i­dent and CEO start­ing Oct. 1.

In the mean­time, com­pe­ti­tion in Colorado is in­ten­si­fy­ing as Phoenix-based Ban­ner Health, work­ing in al­liance with Kaiser Per­ma­nente, keeps ex­pand­ing its pres­ence. Ban­ner spokesman Paul Matthews said Ban­ner is open­ing a health cen­ter in Fort Collins on Sept. 9. In two weeks, Ban­ner’s board will vote on plans for a hos­pi­tal in Fort Collins. On Aug. 22, Kaiser opened a health IT data cen­ter in sub­ur­ban Den­ver, where 700 em­ploy­ees are ex­pected to work by 2015.

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