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Hospital names new CFO

Eben Harrell

The overhaul of upper management at the financially struggling Aspen Valley Hospital was completed today, as hospital officials announced the hiring of a new chief financial officer.

Terry Collins, currently CFO at an elderly care center in Nashville, Tenn., will oversee the hospital’s finances beginning Dec. 14. Collins will work under the leadership of CEO David Ressler, who began work in September.

Last January, the hospital uncovered a financial crisis sparked by billing problems that resulted in estimated losses of some $7.5 million. Subsequently, 34 hospital employees lost their jobs.

Collins replaces former CFO Verna Bartlett, who was dismissed in March after the problems were uncovered.

“While there are still opportunities for improvement, I believe AVH can achieve financial status equal to its already sterling reputation for excellent and friendly patient care,” Collins said in a prepared statement.

Collins was identified this fall by Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm that also assisted with the recruitment of Ressler. It was Ressler who made the final decision to hire Collins.

“Terry brings a wealth of experience to AVH,” Ressler said in a prepared statement. “I couldn’t be happier. He has knowledge and experience, a can-do attitude, and I think he will be a good fit for our organization.”

Interim Chief Operations Officer Jim Carris, who along with former interim CEO Bob Karp is largely credited with stabilizing the hospital’s finances over the past six months, will likely step down later this year, according to AVH spokeswoman Ginny Gyche.

Collins holds bachelors degrees in accounting and psychology, and has an MBA from the University of Utah. His previous experience included a stint as CFO at Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Healthcare System, an organization that includes two urban hospitals and 24 rural hospitals. He is currently the CFO of Caregiver Services, Inc., a provider of assisted-living services to elderly, physically handicapped, and mentally challenged clients in Nashville.

Collins and his wife, Betty, have eight children. Two of the children still live at home ” a daughter, age 16, and a son, age 12. He and his wife are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy running and weightlifting, and they reportedly look forward to renewing their interest in skiing.

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


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