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San Diego County hospital CEOs

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Robin B. Brown Jr. Scripps Green Hospital Robin Brown, chief executive at Scripps Green Hospital since 2000, has more than 30 years of health care experience and has been affiliated with Scripps Health for the past 20 years. Brown oversees operations for the 173-bed acute-care hospital and multipurpose ambulatory care center.


His previous roles at Scripps Health have included vice president for business development and vice president/administrator of Scripps Hospital East County and administrator of affiliated business services. He has also held administrator roles at other San Diego health care institutions, including Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and Mission Bay Hospital.

He received a master's degree in health care administration from Duke University and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Mary Lou Carraher Scripps Home Health Services Mary Lou Carraher, chief executive of Scripps Home Health Services, joined Scripps Health in 1998. Before joining Scripps, she was regional vice president for Vitas Healthcare Corp. Prior to that, she was vice president for operations at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.


She has more than 40 years of health care experience and leads a multidisciplinary team of highly trained caregivers who provide specialty home care services as well as education on disease prevention and management, medications, diet and exercise.

Carraher earned her bachelor's degree with distinction and her master's in public administration from Pace University in New York. She received her diploma in nursing from the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing.

Jan Cetti San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care has been a trusted health care resource in the San Diego community for 29 years. As president and chief executive officer, Jan Cetti is committed to the organization's bottom line: exceptional patient and family care.


Under Cetti's leadership, San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care has seen dramatic growth, from caring for nearly 100 patients each day during her tenure start in 1996, to currently providing care to more than 900 adults and children each day throughout the entire county, either in a patient's home or wherever the patient resides. In addition to hospice services provided in the home, Cetti oversees the operation of California's only specially-licensed hospice-hospital, known as the Inpatient Care Center at San Diego Hospice, as well as the San Diego Hospice Care Center at GlenBrook Skilled Nursing in Carlsbad.

One of Cetti's notable accomplishments, and continuing passions, is overseeing the development of relationships with local, national and international medical and educational institutions, while maintaining the organization's ongoing leadership role in the development of palliative medicine.

Cetti advocates and directs the expansion and creation of innovative programs and services such as the Perinatal Hospice Program, providing support services to families whose unborn child has a life-limiting prognosis; the HIV/Case Management Program (formerly the County's AIDS Waiver Program), helping clients remain as independent as possible while receiving necessary medical care; and the expansion of its education and research component, The Center for Palliative Studies at San Diego Hospice, which hosts the largest palliative medicine specialty training program in the United States.

Cetti's experience in the health care arena spans more than 30 years, including experience in senior executive positions with a local regional health care system. After earning her graduate degree in nursing, Cetti spent several years as a faculty member in the schools of nursing at both Loma Linda University and San Diego State University. She was the 1984 recipient of the YWCA TWIN award. She has served on the Academic Affairs Committee at the University of San Diego since 1994 and is an active member of the Rotary Club of San Diego.

Because of Cetti's vision and leadership, San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care has been recognized for excellence in patient and family care, education, and research. Honors include the "Circle of Life Award" presented by the American Hospital Association, "Nonprofit of the Year" by San Diego Magazine and most recently, the "2005 Torch Award Winner for Marketplace Ethics" by the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

Michael H. Covert Palomar Pomerado Health Michael H. Covert, F.A.C.H.E., came to Palomar Pomerado Health as president and chief executive officer in January 2003, bringing more than 35 years experience in health care administration.


His previous positions include president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System from 1992 to 2000; acting director of the Public Health Department, Wichita, Kansas; executive director of the Ohio State University of Hospitals, Columbus, Ohio; chief operating officer at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas; and senior vice president of Physicians Corp. of America, Wichita, Kansas Most recently, Covert served as president and chief executive officer of the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., one of the 10 busiest hospitals in the United States and the largest in the D.C./Maryland area.

Covert served as treasurer of the D.C. Hospital Association, regent for the Western Florida region of the American College of Health Care Executives, 1999 chair of the board for the Association of Community Hospitals and Health Systems of Florida and chair of the Academic Advisory Council for the University of South Florida, Sarasota Campus. He also held faculty appointments at the Washington University and Ohio State University Schools of Medicine.

Previously, Covert was a member of the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, past chair of the Washington University School of Medicine Health Administration Program Alumni Board and from 1995 to 1996 was chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, he is the past chair of the Accreditation Commission on Education for Health Services Administration, which is responsible for accrediting all graduate programs in health administration in the United States and Canada. Covert was also a member of the VHA-Florida Board of Directors and Executive Committee and was the 1998-1999 chair of the board for the United Way of Sarasota County. Presently Covert is chair of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial counties, a member of the board and Executive Committee of the California Hospital Association and a member of the American Hospital Association Health Systems Council Board.

Covert received a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in health administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Miss., and is a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives.

Carl J. Etter Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas Carl Etter, chief executive of Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 140-bed acute-care hospital.


Before joining Scripps, he served as assistant vice president for Community Health Systems, a multi-state hospital system based in Tennessee. Prior to Community Health Systems, Etter served as chief executive officer for Riley Memorial Hospital, a 180-bed acute-care hospital in Mississippi, and as chief executive officer/administrator for Woman's Hospital, a 111-bed acute-care hospital dedicated to women's health care.

Etter has a master's degree in hospital administration from Yale University School of Medicine.

Gary G. Fybel Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla Gary Fybel joined the Scripps Health system in August 2000 as the chief executive of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. With more than 30 years experience in health care, Fybel is responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of the 372-bed facility.


Prior to joining Scripps, Fybel served as administrator and chief operating officer of Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center and as interim president and chief executive officer of Saint Joseph Health System in Humboldt County. Fybel has also held positions at Placentia-Linda Community Hospital and Anaheim General Hospital, where he served as chief executive officer.

Fybel received his master's in business administration from California State University, Long Beach and a bachelor's degree in management/health services administration.

Tom Gammiere Scripps Mercy Hospital As chief executive, Tom Gammiere is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 517-bed Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego campus in Hillcrest and the 183-bed Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, which serves San Diego's South Bay.


He began his career at Scripps in 1987 as the assistant administrator at what was then Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista and was named administrator in 1992. Later, he became chief executive of Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and was named chief executive of the newly merged hospital in 2004.

Prior to joining Scripps, Gammiere served as assistant administrator of support services at St. Benedict's Hospital in Ogden, Utah. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Marietta College in Ohio and a master's degree in health care administration from the University of Iowa.

Arthur A. Gonzalez Tri-City Medical Center Before joining Tri-City Medical Center in January 1999, Arthur A. Gonzalez, Dr., P.H., served five years as president and CEO of Schumpert Health System in Shreveport, La., a nonprofit, 601-bed acute-care hospital with five satellite clinics. During his tenure, Gonzalez built two wellness centers and the state's first residential hospice.


Gonzalez is widely regarded for his 31-year career in both the public and private health care sectors. In 1989, he was selected as one of the "Top 25 Turnaround CEO's in the United States" by Health Week Magazine, as well as one of the top 12 "Up and Coming Administrators in the Unites States" by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

Gonzalez served for four years as president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital, a 475-bed acute-care facility in Forth Worth, Texas. He also served as CEO of Kino Community Hospital in Tucson, Ariz.; CEO of Tidelands General Hospital, Channelview, Texas; and chief operating officer of Northshore in Houston, Texas. Gonzalez served his administrative residency at Bexar County Hospital District in San Antonio, Texas.

Gonzalez received a doctorate of public health degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston; a master's degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

Gonzalez is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Healthcare Association. He has taught for the graduate schools of the University of Arizona, University of Texas and the University of Houston at Clear Lake.

Larry Harrison Scripps Clinic Larry Harrison was appointed Scripps Clinic's chief executive in February 2003. He joined Scripps in 1998. Harrison is responsible for planning and managing the daily operations of Scripps Clinic.


Prior to joining Scripps, Harrison served as executive director of Cleveland Clinic Florida Health Network, where he was responsible for the redevelopment and implementation of contracting strategy. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of operations for Health Partners Inc. in Norwalk, Conn., where he directed all clinical operations for multiple physician organizations.

Harrison received a master's in business administration from the University of Southern California, a master's in health science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in microbiology from Michigan State University.

Richard J. Liekweg UCSD Medical Center Richard J. Liekweg was appointed chief executive officer of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center in March 2003. UCSD Medical Center is the clinical arm of the University of California, San Diego, and part of the University of California system.


As the only university-based health care system in the region, UCSD Medical Center has provided leadership in patient care, biomedical research, education and community service for decades. UCSD Medical Center includes two hospitals totaling 540 beds and the outpatient medical practices of more than 300 physicians in over 50 specialties.

The medical center has distinguished itself as providing the region with the Moores Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region; the Shiley Eye Center; a Level 1 Trauma Center and the region's only burn center; comprehensive solid organ and bone marrow transplant programs; the region's only JCAHO certified stroke program; and centers of excellence dedicated to cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, orthopedic injuries, high risk pregnancy management and neonatal special care.

Liekweg has led the development of a long range strategic plan that will expand UCSD Medical Center's outpatient facilities, replace and consolidate its inpatient beds and focus on enhancing quality of care, access to care, preventative care, research and clinical trials and education.

Prior to joining UCSD Medical Center, Liekweg spent 16 years with the Duke University Health System. Joining Duke in 1987 as an administrative fellow, he held a variety of administrative positions, including senior associate chief operating officer for Duke University Hospital. Liekweg helped streamline operational performance while expanding facilities for women's and children's services and ambulatory surgery. In 1999 he became chief operating officer of Durham Regional Hospital, a 400-bed county hospital leased by the Duke University Health System. In 2000 he was named chief executive officer of Durham Regional, where he led a successful financial and operational turnaround.

Liekweg has been active in local and national health care, business and professional organizations. He currently serves as the vice chair of board of directors for the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties; member of the board of directors for the California Hospital Association; member of the governing board for University HealthSystem Consortium; and member of the board of directors for Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP). He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of Young Presidents Organization, San Diego Chapter.

In 2001, Liekweg was featured as one of Modern Healthcare's "Up and Comers" in hospital administration. In 2003 he was named a Durham City of Medicine Ambassador, which honors those whose presence enhances the city's prestige.

Liekweg received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan School of Business.

Michael W. Murphy Sharp HealthCare Mike Murphy is president and chief executive officer of Sharp HealthCare. Murphy oversees a workforce of nearly 14,000 employees, 2,600 affiliated physicians and 2,000 volunteers. They provide care and service in a fully integrated nonprofit system that includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, five urgent care centers, four skilled nursing facilities, home health, hospice, state-of-the-art outpatient facilities and a health plan.


Under Murphy's direction, Sharp has dedicated itself to The Sharp Experience, which is transforming the health care experience for employees, physicians and customers. This focus on purpose, worthwhile work and making a difference has led to increased employee, physician and patient satisfaction, enhanced loyalty and improved outcomes as Sharp strives to fulfill its vision of becoming the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care.

Murphy was appointed to his position in June 1996 by a 29-member board of directors. His career at Sharp began in 1991 as chief financial officer of Grossmont Hospital before moving to Sharp's system-wide role of vice president of financial accounting and reporting. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO, Murphy served as senior vice president of business development and legal affairs. In that capacity, he directed major business transactions and evaluated and implemented business development opportunities throughout the Sharp system.

Murphy's career in health care spans more than 20 years. Before joining Sharp, he worked in the public accounting industry specializing in health care, including a position as a partner with Deloitte and Touche, an international accounting and consulting firm.

Murphy grew up in Southern California. He is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach and is a certified public accountant. Last year he served as chairman of the board of the Greater San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Murphy is a member of the American Hospital Association's Health Care Systems Governing Council, the Health Insights Foundation and the Executive Partners Group for the Community Health Improvement Partners, a public-private venture aimed at providing greater access to health care. Murphy is actively involved as a member and supporter of several organizations, including the San Diego Rotary Club, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, the Union of Pan Asian Communities and the YMCA, San Diego Chapter.

Nathaniel L. Oubre Jr. Kaiser Permanente, San Diego Nathaniel Oubre is a seasoned financial executive with 16 years experience at Kaiser Permanente, managing a broad variety of financial functions and management consulting engagements. His track record of success at the senior financial management level was built upon a well-rounded base of general management experience in financial operations, planning, analysis, audit, decision support and technology strategy.


His extensive expertise in organizational and operational process redesign, change management, information systems design, development and implementation and operations improvement and turnaround has made him a respected leader of one of San Diego's largest health care systems.

Oubre is the senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, an integrated, prepaid group practice health maintenance organization (HMO) serving nearly 500,000 members throughout San Diego County. More than 800 Southern California Permanente Medical Group physicians, plus more than 7,000 Kaiser Health Plan and Hospitals staff, provide care to San Diego's Health Plan members. Among the Health Plan facilities are the 392-bed San Diego Medical Center, five contracting hospitals, 13 skilled nursing facilities and 19 physician office/ambulatory care centers throughout San Diego County.

As the senior executive of Kaiser Permanente's Health Plan in San Diego County, Oubre's primary responsibilities include financial operations and strategy, oversight of health care delivery -- including quality, accessibility and affordability of health services -- and health plan functions in marketing, member services, strategic planning and community/government relations. He oversees creation of a work environment that attracts, motivates and retains high-performing, customer-focused staff, and he provides leadership and active support for the Labor Management Partnership.

He is accountable for operating the service area as a financially sound business unit and oversees both development and implementation of business plans that lead to the achievement of Kaiser Permanente's goals.

Oubre has oversight responsibility covering all Kaiser Permanente-owned and contracted hospitals, home care agencies (home health and hospice programs) and other facilities in San Diego. In all aspects of Kaiser Permanente's business operations in the San Diego area, he carries the responsibility of ensuring the conservation of physical, financial, information and human resources.

In addition, Oubre provides internal and external leadership in community service and community benefit to communities throughout San Diego County.

Oubre earned his bachelor's degree in public health from University of California, Los Angeles, and his master's in business administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in Cambridge, Mass.

Mark R. Palmer Alvarado Hospital Medical Center/SDRI Mark Palmer has served as chief executive officer at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center/SDRI since 2004.


He joined Alvarado Hospital as chief operating officer and administrator in 1999. As CEO, Palmer oversees operations, strategic direction and physician relations. He maintains hospital-wide leadership responsibilities for the 235-bed Alvarado Hospital and the 80-bed San Diego Rehabilitation Institute.

Palmer has more than 16 years of experience in health care administration and management at facilities across the country. He holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business Administration, and a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Southern California.

Gary J. Rossio VA San Diego Healthcare System Gary J. Rossio became the director at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in 1996.


Previously he was the director at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northampton, Mass. He served as the associate director at the VA San Diego Healthcare System from July 1989 through October 1994.

Prior to his appointment as associate director, Rossio held the position of chief, medical administration service for six years at the Iowa City and Loma Linda VA Medical Centers. Rossio began his VA career in 1975 as a medical administration intern at the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Since that time, he has held various positions of increased responsibility.

Rossio is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Leadership VA Alumni Association and the United Veterans Council and Memorial Union. He is a United States Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam era. Rossio is a native of Detroit, Mich., and has a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a master's degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Rossio was selected by President Bush to receive the 2003 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives. He received the 2005 American College of Healthcare Executive's VA Regents Senior-level Healthcare Executive Award for his excellence in leadership and innovation.

Alan Soderblom Paradise Valley Hospital With 20 years of health care management experience, Alan Soderblom has devoted his entire career to working with hospitals and physicians. Starting his career in 1986 as a financial analyst for Loma Linda Community Hospital, he has since developed an extensive record that includes financial management, strategic planning, operations oversight, business planning, government relations and physician development.


In January of 2005, Soderblom was named president and chief executive officer of Paradise Valley Hospital, a nonprofit, acute-care community hospital located in National City. As CEO, Soderblom oversees an annual operating budget of $140 million and directs a workforce of over 1,400 employees on three campuses. In addition, he is responsible for ensuring that the 250,000 patients obtaining medical services at Paradise Valley Hospital each year receive the highest quality of care.

Prior to his appointment as Paradise Valley Hospital's CEO, Soderblom served the above-mentioned hospital as vice president and chief financial officer, where he was responsible for all the financial aspects of the 301-bed adventist health facility. Before joining Paradise Valley Hospital, Soderblom was vice president of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, where he was responsible for the administrative and fiscal management of all psychiatric and chemical dependency services.

Soderblom holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration from La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., and a master's in business administration from the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif.

Soderblom is a member of several boards including the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the Private Essential Access Community Hospitals (PEACH), the Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP), the National City Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Academy. In addition to these roles, he remains active in his church and community.

Soderblom and his wife, Karen have two children and reside in Chula Vista.

Chris Van Gorder Scripps Health Chris Van Gorder is president and chief executive officer of Scripps Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system with five acute-care hospitals, Scripps Clinic, an ambulatory care network and more than 2,600 affiliated physicians. Scripps Health has more than 10,000 employees. Van Gorder is responsible for the oversight of all functions of the $1.6 billion corporation.

Van Gorder

Van Gorder received his master's degree in public administration/health services administration from the University of Southern California, completed the Wharton System CEO Program at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his bachelor's degree at California State University, Los Angeles. He is board-certified in health care management and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Van Gorder is a member of the California Hospital Association Board of Directors and is immediate past chair of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. He is an assistant clinical professor in health administration and member of the Healthcare Advisory Board in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California; a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees; past chair of the Chamber's Health Care Committee; and a Chamber representative for health care on the San Diego Homeland Security Partnership. He is also a member of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors, San Diego Urban League President's Circle, San Diego Center for Patient Safety Advisory Board and a member of the board of The Scripps Research Institute and the Whittier Institute for Diabetes.

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