Fort Carson’s former garrison commander has a civilian suit and a new job, building bonds between one of the area’s largest hospital chains and the five military installations in the Pikes Peak region.
Ron Fitch, a colonel who retired from Fort Carson in July, will be vice president of operations and military affairs for UCHealth, which has two large hospitals and a large group of physicians serving Colorado Springs.
The operations title involves overseeing the hospital chain’s physical plant, a role that’s similar to his work as the garrison commander, essentially Fort Carson’s landlord.
The military affairs part of his job is something new, and it’s a role that the UCHealth says could help local hospitals and the military.
“Ron will help us explore training opportunities for military health care providers and also will be key in bringing new ideas to the table that will let us better serve the needs of our military community — both active service members and retirees,” UCHealth CEO Joel Yuhas said in an email.
The Pikes Peak region is packed with troops, veterans and retirees, a group of more than 125,000 people in El Paso County.
Fitch, a Green Beret who led a battalion of the 7th Special Forces Group before coming to Colorado Springs, will be the hospital’s ambassador to that population and will serve on the Military Affairs Council of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.
“Fitch also will be responsible for exploring collaboration opportunities with area military bases that will allow physicians, nurses and allied health professionals to continue to train at southern Colorado’s only Level I trauma center,” UCHealth said in a news release.
“Such training opportunities ensure surgeons and others stay current in critical skills necessary to save lives in combat situations.”
It is no surprise that Fitch was fast to find civilian work. He helped run a program at Fort Carson that aimed to connect departing troops with civilian jobs.
A big part of that program showed soldiers how their military skills could be translated to corporate roles.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” Fitch said in an email. “With a background in engineering, and experience in facilities and construction, I found the opportunity with UCHealth a great fit. My Special Forces background has also trained me well in security and emergency management.”
Yuhas said Fitch’s military background will serve him well.
“Because the military is such an important part of the fabric of our community, this was an important addition to our senior management team,” Yuhas wrote.
“Having his expertise on the team is an asset that will help us plan future UCHealth facilities in southern Colorado and ensure we are doing everything possible to support our men and women in uniform.”
Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx