Kirchner named Vail hospital CEO
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Doris Kirchner will be the Vail Valley Medical Center’s new chief executive officer, hospital officials announced Wednesday.
Hospital board member and Vail Town Councilman Andy Daly said he “couldn’t be more delighted” to have Kirchner as the new chief executive.
“She brings a diversity of skills to the job,” Daly said. “She was really the perfect candidate.”
For one thing, Daly said, Kirchner has been the medical center’s acting chief executive since John Cassin resigned in early July. “The transition will be really easy,” he said.
But, Daly said, the board still conducted a thorough search that included outside candidates.
“We hired a couple of people to help us through the process,” Daly said. “They focused on where we’ve had challenges before and where we want to go.”
Kirchner is the hospital’s fifth CEO since 1998.
Kirchner early on expressed her interest in the job, Daly said. As the search went on, the board realized they had a solid candidate for the CEO position already on the payroll. That was confirmed through having outside consultants help with the interview process.
Kirchner served as chief operating officer at the hospital for the past 18 months, as well as for eight years from 1986 to 1994.
Kirchner has “proven her commitment to the organization, and to the valley,” Daly said. “She raised her family here in the valley.”
Kirchner and her husband, John, have lived in Gypsum for some time, and Daly said that, too, could be a benefit to the medical center.
“Her living in Gypsum adds a different dimension to the position,” he said. “Having a downvalley person will be important as we move forward.”
Kirchner declined to comment Wednesday evening, saying she is available for an interview next week.
“As a long time resident, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the VVMC family in providing health care for our entire community – particularly for my own grandchildren,” she said Wednesday in a press release. “I am passionate about my relationship with the remarkable physicians, employees, senior team and volunteer organization who provide unsurpassed health care in our community.”
A registered nurse, Kirchner hails from Russell, Iowa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from William Jewel College in Liberty, Mo., and a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.
Along with working for the Vail Valley Medical Center, she has served as a consultant with Quorum Health services, a national hospital management company, and spent 10 years with KSL Recreation Corporation, where she built the human resources department for eight resorts and more than 10,000 employees.
Kirchner’s daughter and family live on a ranch in McCoy.
World renowned knee surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman, of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, which operates at the medical center, released a statement on Kirchner’s hiring Wednesday, saying “I’ve known Doris for over 20 years. She was actively involved in my decision to come to Vail. She has great knowledge of hospital management and has the ability to see the big picture for the hospital while focusing on the day to day operations.
“All of us at Steadman Hawkins are extremely happy that the board made this decision,” he said.