Hospital names new CEO |

Hospital names new CEO

Eben Harrell

After nearly seven months of searching, Aspen Valley Hospital has a new leader.Beginning Sept. 7, David Ressler of Sierra Vista, Ariz., will take over as full-time CEO, officials announced yesterday.Ressler is currently president and CEO of Sierra Vista Medical Center, a 90-bed hospital that serves some 60,000 people. He was one of three finalists announced last week after a national search. Ressler was selected over Michael Barch of Washington, D.C., after Jon Sewell of Greeley withdrew his candidacy.Ressler will become the hospital’s first full-time CEO since former CEO Randy Middlebrook was dismissed last January. Retired heart surgeon Bob Karp has acted as interim CEO. Under Karp’s leadership, the hospital uncovered a massive financial crisis that resulted in losses of around $12 million last year and 34 employees losing their jobs. In recent months, hospital board members said hiring a new CEO was a top priority Last week Ressler said he was unsure whether he would leave his present position for Aspen. But yesterday, Ressler said his trip here to be interviewed clinched the decision.”It was an extremely difficult decision because of the relationships I have here [in Arizona],” he said. “However the appeal of the Aspen community and the people I interviewed with was compelling. My wife and I now feel very comfortable with the decision.”Ressler also said he is undaunted by the hospital’s financial challenges.”I think [AVH] has turned a corner,” Ressler said. “I’ve got some good experience managing operations in the hospital business. You have to learn quick in this business and I’ve certainly learned how to deal with revenue problems.”AVH board President John Sarpa, who headed the CEO search committee, said Ressler received “unequivocal” backing from hospital officials.”We have high expectations, and we are confident that he will succeed,” Sarpa said.Ressler said he hopes to move to Aspen by the end of August, when school begins. He has a 7- and 5-year-old.”I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is

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