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Southwest Health System CEO resigns

A new interim CEO has been hired at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez.
Interim named to oversee Southwest Memorial Hospital operations

Southwest Health System announced Thursday that CEO Jeanine Gentry resigned Feb. 1 after a little more than a year on the job.

SHS is the operating arm of Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez. Gentry served as CEO since January 2022.

The SHS Board of Directors, along with Community Hospital Consulting, confirmed that David Faulkner will serve as interim CEO beginning Feb. 2, according to a news release.

David Faulkner

“Faulkner has decades of executive health care experience and insight across operations, strategic planning, practice management, contract negotiations, and revenue enhancement,” the release states.

SHS board chair Shirley Jones stated in the release that “we wholeheartedly welcome David to our hospital and community. We are committed to our mission, to provide the highest quality health care to our community by bringing excellence, value and service together to promote, improve and restore health.”

Faulkner most recently served as Interim CEO for Montrose Regional Health, Montrose for nearly a year.

“He is a seasoned CEO with nearly 30 years of experience improving hospital operations and performance through a broad base of skills and a commitment to build consensus with all team members, from physicians and employees, to Board and community members,” the news release states.

Faulkner is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He graduated from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois with a bachelor of science in health care management and earned a Master of Science degree in health services management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jeanine Gentry is the new permanent CEO for Southwest Memorial Hospital. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

Details of Gentry’s resignation were not available.

She provided a statement to The Journal, on Friday.

“My heart is broken leaving SHS and this community. I had hoped to stay for a very long time. Unfortunately circumstances will not allow that. I will miss everyone deeply,” Gentry said.

Montezuma County Hospital District board chair Dean Mathews said Gentry’s resignation came as a surprise, and he found out about it Thursday.

“I’m just as surprised as most people were,” Mathews said.

He reached out to SHS board members about the resignation but has not heard back. MCHD acts as the landlord of the hospital campus and is not in charge of operations and does not hire or manage staff at Southwest Memorial.

The turnover of CEOs has been a concern for the MCHD board Mathews said, and “we will be asking questions about it.”

During an SHS meeting last week, “nothing seemed amiss,” he said. He added recent business plan presentation by SHS did not show any big problems with hospital operations.

Gentry replaced interim CEO Rick Shrader, who served for eight months after former CEO Tony Sudduth unexpectedly resigned April 2021 after serving for three years.

Mathews said a member of the MCHD board sits in on interviews with CEO candidates being considered by SHS.

SHS contracts with management firm Community Hospital Consulting, of Plano, Texas, which hires the CEO, CFO and Chief Nursing Officer for hospital operations.

In its management role of SHS, Community Hospital Consulting continues to steer the organization’s performance improvements, from operational efficiencies and clinical excellence to cost reduction through supply chain optimization and supply savings, according to the news release.

CHC Consulting is the consulting arm of Plano, Texas-based Community Hospital Corporation or CHC.

The Journal reached out to SHS Chair Shirley Jones for comment on this story but had not heard back by publication.