Vail Valley Medical Center CEO steps down |

Vail Valley Medical Center CEO steps down

Vail Daily file photoJohn Cassin was hired as CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center in May, 2008.

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail, Colorado said goodbye to its fourth CEO in six years Monday with the resignation of its top executive.

John Cassin, who had served as president and CEO of the hospital for 14 months, left to “pursue other business endeavors,” according to a press release.

Vail Valley Medical Center Board President Ron Davis said he didn’t know what business endeavors Cassin was pursuing. He declined to comment on Cassin’s performance over the last 14 months.

“I can’t comment one way or another on any personnel matters,” Davis said.

A message left for Cassin was not returned Monday.

Cassin’s tenure was marked by the medical center’s ambitious plans to relocate services downvalley to reflect the growth of the community. For the last few months, he had been meeting with community groups to discuss the creation of a new $200 million medical campus, perhaps in Avon, Edwards or Wolcott. Cassin has said those plans were supposed to be finalized by as soon as this summer, with construction possibly beginning in five years.

The senior managers at the Vail Valley Medical Center will lead the day-to-day operations of the medical center as a search for a new CEO is conducted.

Davis said he is confident in the management team moving forward, even without a CEO.

“The CEO is the conductor, but, to use a Bravo! (Vail Valley Music Festival) term, the people who plays the instruments are the people who are doing the work day in, day out,” he said.

Asked if it was problematic to lose four CEOs in six years, Davis said each departure has been different.

“I think every situation has been unique in its own individual circumstances,” he said. “While the CEO is important, I think the thing we have been able to do most effectively within the last 18 months, even prior to John’s arrival, is enhancing the quality of our senior team.”

Former CEO Greg Repetti left the position in April 2008 in a “mutual decision” by Repetti and the board. He held the position for less than three years.

Preceding Repetti were Tom Zellers, who held the position for 15 months, and Cliff Eldredge, who left as CEO in 2003 after five years.

Cassin came to the Vail Valley Medical Center from the Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora, where he worked in strategic planning.

The medical center has recently announced up to $20 million in short-term improvements to address the needs of the community. They include:

∞ Plans for a new urgent-emergency care facility in Gypsum.

∞ Addition of four private patient rooms at the Vail campus.

∞ Expansion of the emergency department in Vail.

∞ Expansion of outpatient operating rooms at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards.

The Vail Valley Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization that provides care for 50,000 residents. It has 190 physicians, 58 beds and a support staff of 700 employees.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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