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New CEO hired to lead Southwest Memorial

Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez has hired a new CEO. (Journal file)
Gentry is a veteran in health care and hospital management

Southwest Health System has hired a permanent CEO after an eight-month search.

Jeanine A. Gentry will take over leadership of Southwest Memorial Hospital operations on Jan. 20, according to a SHS news release.

Gentry has decades of experience in health care. She most recently served as CEO for Steele Memorial Medical Center in Salmon, Idaho, from 2016 to 2021. She led all operations of the 18-bed county-owned hospital, which was ranked as a top 20 critical access hospital for three consecutive years.

Jeanine Gentry has been hired as CEO of Southwest Health System, which operates Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez. (Courtesy Southwest Health System)

According to the SHS news release, while CEO Gentry implemented an urgent care clinic, redesigned hospital call coverage to a hospitalist physician model, oversaw renovation of a rural health clinic and recruited primary and specialty care providers.

Gentry has been listed multiple times by Becker’s Hospital Review as a “Critical Access Hospital CEO to Know.”

“We are delighted to welcome Jeanine to our hospital and community,” said Dan Valverde, SHS board chairman. “Her experience, energy and passions are a great match with our mission to deliver excellent care within our community. We also want to extend our gratitude to Interim CEO Jeanette Filpi for her enthusiasm and direction in leading our teams and ensuring the delivery of quality care for the past nine months.”

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Prior to Steele Memorial Medical Center, Gentry’s background includes five years as CEO of two St. Charles Health System hospitals in Madras and Prineville, Oregon.

Earlier in her career, she was vice president of Allied Health Services for St. John’s Lutheran Hospital, Libby, Montana; a college instructor and consultant for Flathead Valley Community College, also in Libby; and a Human Resource Director for Futura Industries of Clearfield, Utah.

Gentry earned her bachelor’s degree in human resource development from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and master’s in health care Administration from Montana State University, Billings, Montana.

She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Among other leadership positions, she has been a member of the Idaho Hospital Association, Montana Hospital Association and Oregon Association of Hospitals and Healthcare Systems.

Gentry looks forward to relocating and getting to know Cortez, the news release stated. She has 20-year-old triplets, Elizabeth, Daniel and David, and enjoys activities including fly-fishing, playing the piano and volunteering.

Gentry replaces former CEO Tony Sudduth, who resigned in April.

SHS is managed by Community Hospital Consulting, the management arm of Community Hospital Corporation of Plano, Texas. CHC employs the hospital’s CEO and chief financial officer.