CEO of Grand River Hospital District resigns
After more than five years as the chief executive officer for the Grand River Hospital District, Patrick Howery resigned and will leave the Rifle area to take a new position in Grand Junction.Howery joined the Grand River Hospital District in July 1999. He was working for St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction at the time and was hired by the Grand River Hospital District after an extensive search to replace former longtime CEO Ed Gast and the subsequent firing of interim CEO Bob Peterson. Initially hired as an temporary administrator, Howery was later invited to come on board permanently.”We held a lengthy search to narrow it down to make sure we got the best person,” said Bruce Mills, president of the hospital district’s board of directors. “We liked (Howery) and hired him on after the interview process.”Within months, Howery turned the failing hospital district around.”Bob Peterson had advised us to declare bankruptcy, but within six months, Pat had the bills paid and $1 million in the bank,” Mills said. “It was just good business sense. The accomplishments made by Pat have been incredible.”Howery was also largely responsible for the construction of the new Grand River Hospital Medical Center south of Rifle in 2003 as well as improvements made to the E. Dene Moore Care Center and the extension of primary care services to the Battlement Mesa/Parachute area.”Mr. Howery has done an excellent job in working with us to improve the quality of care and continuum of health care services we provide,” Mills said. “He has taken us from the brink of financial disaster to being a profitable and growing health care system for our community.”Howery will be the practice administrator for Colorado West Otolaryngologists – ear, nose and throat specialists – in Grand Junction. He will remain with the Grand River Hospital District until February 2005.”I am very grateful for the opportunity the board has given me and the support was more than any CEO could expect,” Howery said in a written statement. “It has been a very exciting five and a half years and together along with outstanding staff and physicians, we have positioned this district as a quality provider of healthcare services.”The board anticipates hiring a new administrator within the next three months and will accept resumes until Jan. 31, 2005.”If we don’t find what we like, we’ll extend the deadline,” Mills said. “Our CFO (Chief Financial Officer Mike Raymond) is perfectly capable of handling the position. But we don’t anticipate hiring an interim administrator.”Nevertheless, the board of directors says it is sorry to see Howery leave.”I understand Pat’s got to do what’s right for Pat,” Mills said. “We’re sorry to see him go, but it’s not totally a surprise, either.””I understand Pat’s got to do what’s right for Pat,” Mills said. “We’re sorry to see him go, but it’s not totally a surprise, either.”
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Interstate 70 is closed in both directions between the Glenwood Springs and No Name exits because of a crash, a Garfield County alert sent shortly before 10:30 p.m. states.