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Monday, January 24, 2022

Denver Health’s CEO will retire in August after a sometimes controversial tenure

Denver Health CEO Robin Wittenstein will retire at the end of August after a sometimes rocky stint at the helm of the hospital through the pandemic.

Denver Health’s board of directors said in a statement that it had formed a committee and contracted with an executive search firm to find the hospital’s next top executive. Wittenstein was recruited from Penn State Health and took over as CEO in 2017.

In a message to employees, Wittenstein said she is “fully committed” to continuing her work through August and will work to ensure a smooth transition.

“The strength and resilience of this institution is profound, especially over the past two years as we navigate the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and continue to demonstrate our role as a safety net for the Denver community,” she wrote. . “I am confident in our continued success and the board’s dedication to finding the right person to propel Denver Health forward during this transformative time in healthcare.”

Among Denver Health’s successes under Wittenstein, in 2017 Denver voters approved a $75 million bond for a new outpatient care center at the hospital. Nearly two years later, the hospital partnered with the Denver Housing Authority to renovate a largely disused building on its campus for senior housing.

Patricia Dean, chair of Denver Health’s board of directors, said in a statement that the board is grateful for Wittenstein’s service. The board is gathering feedback from community leaders about what qualities are needed in the next CEO, and expects to announce a successor this summer.

“Robin has demonstrated exemplary, genuine leadership,” she said. “Under his leadership, Denver Health has made tremendous progress in creating a vision and strategy to meaningfully address health disparities and disparities; advance our role as an anchor institution in the community; and the COVID-19 pandemic.” faced the remarkable challenges brought by.

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But Wittenstein’s tenure has been controversial at times, especially during the pandemic.

In November 2020, a whistleblower complaint alleged that Denver Health had retaliated against employees who spoke publicly about working conditions during the pandemic or about racism within the hospital. Concern was expressed.

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