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VVMC administrator leaving

Cliff Thompson

“I’ve had an absolutely wonderful time at the medical center,” Eldredge said in a press release Tuesday.

The Vail Valley Medical Center is a $92-million-per-year nonprofit corporation with seven locations in Summit and Eagle Counties and 195 credentialed physicians, that is staffed with nearly 500 employees.

Eldredge, 60, hired Oct. 31, 1998, oversaw what amounted to a doubling of the medical center’s facilities, with $50 million spent on: expanding the Vail Valley Medical Center, building the Shaw Cancer Center and Pavilion in Edwards, an ambulatory surgery center and the Woman and Children’s Center; and the creation of locations in Keystone and Breckenridge. The medical center also forged joint ventures for a medical campus in Eagle and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

“It’s a good break point,” Eldredge said. “Most of the big initiatives have been completed.”

Despite the successful expansions that were done on-schedule and on-budget, his term was dogged by persistent rumors of an autocratic management style that ruffled staff and medical professionals.

“Cliff has done as much to advance the mission of the Vail Valley Medical Center during his tenure as any leader in our organization’s history,” said the hospital’s chairman of the board, Ed O’Brien. “Our medical center and our community owe him a great deal of gratitude.”

Eldredge has extensive medical administration experience at several midwestern hospitals. He left Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia for the Vail administrator’s position. Prior to that he served as the chief executive officer at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.

He spent most of Tuesday informing his senior staff of his departure.

“It’s no surprise,” he said. “Most of my senior staff have known my contract was going to expire.”

Eldredge said he will remain on the job until Oct. 31, as well as make himself available during the next two years as a consultant to assure the transition with a new administrator will be smooth.

Eldredge and his family own and operate Carvers Ski, Board and Sports Shop in Breckenridge.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com.


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