[1/2/18] More On Hospital CEO, Kevin Abel’s Resignation And Move To Montana

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What could be one of the top local news stories for 2017- wasn’t made public until the very end of the year.

On Saturday, December 30th, simultaneous press releases; one from eastern Washington, the other from central Montana, announced that Lake Chelan Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Abel, was resigning from his position in Chelan, effective April 1st to accept an offer from North Valley Hospital in Whitefish Montana to serve as their Chief Executive Officer.

Kevin says he will miss the Chelan Community and caregivers at the hospital, adding, “we have an excellent team of physicians, nurses and other caregivers. While I will miss working with these outstanding people, I am confident the organization will continue to grow and care for our community. It is an exciting time for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley.”

In Saturday’s Press Release, Mary Signorelli, Commission Chair for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board, said, “While I am sorry to see Kevin leave, I couldn’t be happier for him and the prospects of furthering his career with this opportunity in Montana.” Adding, “The board of directors, having just received this news, will be meeting to discuss the direction it will take to address Kevin’s departure.”

Signorelli went on to say the organization is in the best position it has ever been to face this transition.

She promised that in the the months ahead, the board will involve the community as they develop a plan to fill the Chief Executive Officer position.

Saturday’s simultaneous Press Release from Montana, announced that North Valley Hospital Board of Directors had named Kevin Abel as the new CEO of the 25 bed critical access hospital. The selection was made by the board of directors and ratified by the Kalispell Regional Health Care Board of Trustees.

Opening its doors in the early 1900’s, North Valley Hospital is a private, 501C 3 non-profit community critical access hospital, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

In 2016, North Valley Hospital, formalized an affiliation with Kalispell Regional Healthcare, joining Kalispell Regional Medical Center and the Health Center under the umbrella of the Kalispell Regional Health Care System– integrating the organizations both clinically and financially.

At about the same time, the North Valley Hospital Board of Directors appointed Chris Thomas as interim CEO and began a nationwide search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer.

After nearly nine years as CEO for Lake Chelan Community Hospital, Kevin Abel has announced his resignation effective April 1st. He will officially begin his new position at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish Montana on April 2nd.

When asked how Kevin’s departure might affect the new LCCH approved by voters last spring– Signorelli responded, “The ground work and oversight of the new hospital building is well laid out, and the leadership team that Kevin put together is very capable in assisting us in moving forward.”

On Thursday, January 4th- Kevin Abel, along with Mary Signorelli, will sit down with Jay Witherbee for a live interview shortly after 8AM. Be sure to tune in.