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Cunningham Takes the CEO Helm

Gila Regional's Acting CEO Takes the Helm Hel

Gila Regional has a long history in Grant County. In 1885 the Ladies Hospital was established to provide quality healthcare to the people of the southwest corner of the New Mexico Territory. These humble roots grew today's county-owned Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC), according to a news release.

This week brought a new chapter in GRMC's journey. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Bentley said farewell and acting CEO Brian Cunningham takes the reins.

Chief Financial Officer Craig Stewart resigned as of October 2, Chief Information Officer David Furnas resigned as of November 1, and most recently Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operations Officer Pam Fulks announces her resignation as of October 4.

Brian Cunningham said that his leadership approach is rooted in "Service Excellence." He is committed to and believes he is well prepared for the opportunity of working with GRMC's Board of Trustees, and involving caregivers, physicians and community in a collective effort to help the organization despite the changes facing the healthcare industry. He stated that it is the common goal of exceptional patient care that brings everyone together as a team.

Cunningham enters this position ready to collaboratively move forward. The first month will focus on restructuring GRMC leadership positions, looking for qualified people for these positions and working with caregivers and physicians to put into place an evidence-base framework to better navigate the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

"The qualified people we need to fill these Leadership positions are here in our hospital and community," stated Cunningham. "We have a pool of skilled and committed people to choose from." This approach will condense the search process to weeks rather than months. Plus it will save the large cost of recruiting.

Cunningham spoke with the GRMC Community Collaborative Council on Friday, August 2. The Council's host, Planetree Director Howie Morales stated, "Quality of Life is a strong, stable hospital." Council member Pricilla Lucero responded, "This is a step in the right direction – taking care of our people."

In Gila Regional's long journey, this new leadership approach brings the promise of a sustainable county-owned hospital that reflects the same historical spirit of collaboration, stewardship, and drive for excellence.