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Palomar Health CEO Resigns to Take Position with Catholic Health Initiatives


Palomar Health President and CEO Michael Covert announced his resignation to the health system’s Board of Directors on May 30. His resignation will be effective Aug. 15.

Covert, who has been CEO of Palomar Health since 2003, has accepted a position as the regional market chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives St. Luke’s Health System in Houston, TX. The system consists of many large health-care facilities serving the greater Houston area, and shares a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Heart Institute. He will also assume the role of senior vice president for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the parent company of CHI St. Luke’s Health System.

“During his tenure with Palomar Health, Michael has brought our system to a new level,” said Palomar Health Board of Directors Chairman Ted Kleiter. “He has fully executed the Board’s vision to make Palomar Health a nationally recognized system. While we are sad to see him go, we are grateful for everything he has done for our community and our district and truly wish him and his family all the best.”

Covert came to Palomar Health with more than 36 years of experience in health-care administration and achieved many accomplishments during his 11 years as president and CEO, including the successful opening of the new Palomar Medical Center in 2012. During his distinguished tenure, Palomar Health received Magnet Nursing designation; became the first California member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network; was recognized as one of the Top 100 Employers by Modern Healthcare; was named one of the top small health-care systems in the United States by Truven Analytics and Modern Healthcare; became the top health-care district in California according to the Association of California Hospital Districts; among many other accomplishments. Covert was also recognized as the most admired CEO in San Diego in 2009.

Before joining Palomar Health, Covert's previous positions include president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System; acting director of the Public Health Department, Wichita, Kansas; executive director of the Ohio State University of Hospitals, Columbus, Ohio; chief operating officer at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas; and senior vice president of Physicians Corporation of America, Wichita, Kansas. Prior to Palomar Health, Covert served as president and CEO of the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., one of the 10 busiest hospitals in the United States and the largest in the DC/Maryland area.?

“I am very proud of the time I had at Palomar Health,” said Covert. “I am most proud of the dedicated staff and physicians I have worked alongside for the past decade, and the administrative team I have put together. I have been astonished at the strength and resilience they have demonstrated and admire their continued delivery of outstanding care for the citizens in our community. I know they will continue to elevate the level of health care in the future.”

“The Palomar Health Board of Directors will execute our established succession plan to ensure a deliberate transition that will maintain the health system's services to the community,” said Kleiter. “We will work collaboratively to identify a leader who will continue our commitment to patient-centered, high-quality care.”?

Covert is expected to assume his new position with CHI St. Luke’s Health System on Aug. 25.

About Catholic Health Initiatives
Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems, expresses its mission each day by creating and nurturing healthy communities in the hundreds of sites across the nation where it provides care. One of the nation’s largest health systems, Englewood, Colo.-based CHI operates in 18 states and comprises 89 hospitals, including four academic medical centers and teaching hospitals and 23 critical-access facilities; community health-services organizations; accredited nursing colleges; home-health agencies; and other facilities that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. In fiscal year 2013, CHI provided $762 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. Learn more at www.CatholicHealthInitiatives.com.

About CHI St. Luke’s Health
CHI St. Luke’s Health is dedicated to a mission of enhancing community health through high-quality, cost-effective care. In partnership with our physicians and community partners, we are committed to excellence and compassion in caring for the whole person while creating healthier communities. CHI St. Luke’s Health is comprised of six facilities, including CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a world-class quaternary care facility that is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, which was founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence, receiving the award three times. CHI St. Luke’s Health is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI)—one of the nation’s largest health systems. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, CHI operates in 18 states and includes 89 hospitals; including four academic medical centers; 23 critical-access facilities; community health services organizations; accredited nursing colleges; home health agencies; and other facilities that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. Learn more at www.StLukesTexas.com.

About Palomar Health?
Palomar Health is the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County and the first and only California member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. It is the largest public health-care district by area in the state, with more than 500,000 residents, and is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors.  Palomar Health has several facilities serving North County, including hospitals in Escondido and Poway, expresscare health clinics in Escondido, Rancho Penasquitos, San Elijo Hills and Temecula, and a skilled nursing facility in Poway. The health system provides medical services in virtually all fields of medicine, including primary care, cardiovascular care, emergency services, trauma, cancer, orthopedics, women’s health, rehabilitation, robotic surgery and bariatric surgery. For more information about Palomar Health, please visit www.PalomarHealth.org.  


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