Palomar Health President and Chief Executive Officer Michael H. Covert has been elected Secretary-Treasurer of the California Hospital Association (CHA) Board of Trustees for 2013, and is in line to become chairman of the largest organization of hospitals in California in 2015.
Mr. Covert, who has more than 40 years of experience in health care administration, mainly as CEO, will serve as CHA Chair-Elect in 2014 and CHA Chair in 2015. He would be the first public health care district CEO to lead the CHA Board.
CHA President and CEO C. Duane Dauner called Covert a “visionary leader” whose extensive expertise will be called upon as hospitals across the state begin the transition from providing care to managing care.
“California’s community hospitals are on the precipice of significant changes resulting from demographic trends and coverage shifts resulting from the Affordable Care Act,” Dauner stated. “Michael Covert’s innovative leadership style and forward thinking ideas will be essential as the CHA Board of Trustees helps hospitals throughout the state to transform for the future.”
Mr. Covert has led Palomar Health, the largest public health care district by area in California, since 2003, during which time he has overseen the expansion of its facilities and services throughout North San Diego County and managed its growing reputation. In August, Palomar Health opened the 11-story, 288-bed Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, considered one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the nation.
Mr. Covert is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and has served on various high-profile health care boards across the nation during his long career. Since 2004, he has served in several Board Officer roles within CHA and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties (HASD&IC), one of CHA’s three corporate partners across the state.
In October, the full CHA Board ratified his nomination to serve as a CHA Board Officer and on the Executive Committee.
Mr. Covert, who has experience leading public, academic, non-profit and for-profit hospital and health systems, said he looks forward to representing the interests of all CHA member hospitals.
“I am very humbled and appreciative of this opportunity to be in a position to influence the direction of health care in California,” Mr. Covert said. “Representing the district hospital constituency group is an added plus,” he added.
“I have a deep appreciation for the important dialogue occurring in the state around the transforming health care environment, and know what it takes to be an effective state leader, having had the opportunity to do this in Florida previously,” he said. Mr. Covert served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Community Hospitals and Health Systems of Florida in 1998.
Mr. Covert thanked the Palomar Health Board and his management team for their support and praised all Palomar Health staff members and affiliated physicians for helping to make Palomar Health a top-rated comprehensive health care system.
Palomar Health Board Chairman T.E. (Ted) Kleiter called Mr. Covert’s nomination to the CHA Executive Committee a “reflection of his leadership of our district.”
“We are pleased that he has been selected for this position and support him in this effort. He is a leader in the field,” Kleiter said.
Steven Escoboza, HASD&IC’s CEO and President, said “Michael’s proven leadership and extensive knowledge of California’s health care system, as well as his leadership in several other state’s hospital institutions’ executive positions, will serve the San Diego region well.”
Mr. Covert is also Chairman of VHA West Coast and a member of the Chairman’s Council- VHA National; and Vice Chair of the University of Arizona Health Network.