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And then there were 7: Finalists chosen for new Memorial board

By: BARBARA COTTER
November 5, 2012
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photo - Karla Grazier, president and CEO of Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado, is one of seven finalists chosen to serve on the new Memorial Hospital board. Photo by
Karla Grazier, president and CEO of Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado, is one of seven finalists chosen to serve on the new Memorial Hospital board. Photo by  

Forty-three applied and 13 made it through the first cut. Now, it’s up to Colorado Springs Council to OK the seven finalists chosen to serve on the new Memorial Hospital board.

The old board evaporated with the voter-approved lease agreement that put Memorial Hospital under the University of Colorado Health umbrella earlier this year. An interim board, made up of Colorado Springs City Attorney Chris Melcher, City Council members Brandy Williams and Merv Bennett, and three top UCHealth executives, has been running the show until a new board could be selected.

Michael Sullivan, director of human resources for the city, said 43 people applied, and 13 were interviewed.

“The application and interview process was extensive,” he said in an email. “The selection committee, which had participation from two City Council members, had the very difficult task of selecting seven board members from this group of outstanding candidates. All 13 were eminently qualified.”

Some of the seven names may be familiar. There’s Dick Celeste, former president of Colorado College and now principal of RFC NextAct LLC, and Karla Grazier, president and CEO of Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado. The others are Frank Caris, CEO of the digital imaging company dpiX LLC; Dr. Robin Johnson, a contract physician with Memorial; Frederick Michel, chief medical officer and medical director with AspenPointe; Gene Renuart, a retired Air Force four-star general; and Michael Welch, vice president of medical and dental for Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

City Council will vote on the seven names on Nov. 13. UCHealth will choose three other members for the local board, and Bruce Schroffel, CEO of UCHealth, will serve as chairman. The vice chair will be from El Paso County.

The new volunteer board will work with Memorial executives on policies and day-to-day issues, and it will have the same powers and authority granted to the boards that oversee the other hospitals in the UCHealth system. But the UCHealth board has ultimate authority over local board decisions.

The other candidates who were interviewed are Guy Childs, Bob Cutter, Mary Ellen McNally, Ann Winslow, Richard (Dean) Steward and Jan Weiland.

The selection committee looked at candidates’ background in finances and health care management, involvement in and understanding of community issues, experience in managing large organizations, and familiarity with nonprofit operations.

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