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CFO out at AVH

Eben Harrell

Aspen Valley Hospital’s Chief Financial Officer Verna Bartlett is leaving the hospital, officials confirmed yesterday.

Her decision to leave was made in “mutual agreement” with hospital management, according to a prepared statement by hospital officials.

“Along with many other changes, there are some new directions the hospital is going. By mutual agreement, we are parting ways,” interim CEO Bob Karp is quoted as saying.

Bartlett joined the hospital in 1995 and became CFO a year later. She was part of former CEO Randy Middlebrook’s management team. Middlebrook resigned in January at the request of the hospital board.

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In the prepared statement, Karp called Bartlett the “linchpin” of the success the hospital has had in recent years.

Bartlett’s departure comes just weeks after the hospital’s financial committee announced that the hospital finished 2003 with a budget shortfall of $300,000 – a figure that would have been closer to $3 million if not for the hospital’s public mill levy.

Hospital board members blamed much of the financial trouble on inefficient administration and management, particularly poor billing practices. Over the last few years, more than $2.5 million in hospital expenses have not been billed to patients.

To address the financial crisis, the hospital last month hired an independent financial expert from Denver, Jim Carris, to analyze it and recommend changes. Dyche said she “did not know” whether Carris’ recommendations influenced Bartlett’s departure.

Karp could not be reached for additional comment yesterday.

Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com


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