Chelan hospital Board hires George Rohrich as new CEO

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Editors Note: I missed the last Hospital Commission meeting on Tuesday, September 24 when it was announced that George Rohrich has accepted the CEO position at the hospital. Mr. Rohrich apparently has experience in turning around troubled facilities along with experience in hospital construction and recruitment.

Since CEO Steve Patonai took the job as interim and then permanent CEO at the hospital, approximately 50 professionals have left the facility including physicians. Patonai has retired as of September, 2019.

Current Chief Financial Officer Mike Ellis will serve as interim CEO until Rohrich’s December arrival

The Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics (LCCHC) Board of Commissioners voted to hire George Rohrich as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), beginning December 2019, during their regular Board meeting Sept. 24. Current Chief Financial Officer Mike Ellis will serve as interim CEO until Rohrich’s arrival.

“I am very excited to join the team at Lake Chelan Community Hospital,” said Rohrich, who has more than 25 years’ experience as a hospital CEO and over 35 years of progressive operational and financial healthcare experience.

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Incoming CEO George Rohrich

“There are so many great things happening at the hospital and in the community,” he continued. “I look forward to being part of the team, the community and their future success.”

Rohrich is currently CEO at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic, a 17-bed critical access hospital and primary care clinic with 180 employees in St. Peter, Minnesota. He joined their team in 2013, when the hospital had experienced low growth and consecutive years of a budget deficit. “Through his insightful and visionary leadership, Rohrich transformed the organization by growing service lines through strategic partnerships, encouraging a change in the culture of the organization to put people and patient first and make strategic investments in services and equipment to strengthen the hospital’s bottom line,” according to the organization’s website.

Rohrich’s experience also includes recruitment and hospital construction, most recently working on a USDA-funded $34 million expansion that includes 25 hospital beds and surgery, emergency, urgent care and therapy departments. With LCCHC on target to break ground on its new hospital facility in spring of 2020, Rohrich’s experience will prove invaluable, said Phyllis Gleasman, LCCHC Board Chair.

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Board Chairman Phyliss Gleasman

“The CEO search was a long process,” said Gleasman. “We interviewed several qualified candidates, and everyone agreed George was the right person for LCCHC. The Board looks forward to his arrival in December, and we welcome him to the community.”

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