Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | October 22, 2011

PBN: Vecchione to leave Lifespan

Richard Asinof
PBN Contributing Writer

PROVIDENCE – Lifespan President and CEO George Vecchione, 65, has announced his decision to leave Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest hospital system, at the end of 2012, hospital officials said Friday. Vecchione’s departure at that time will end his 14-year tenure at Lifespan, which he joined in September 1998 after serving as the executive vice president of The New York Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Lifespan, which is which is the state’s largest private employer with more than 12,000 employees, will embark on a national search for Vecchione’s successor.

“George has done an exemplary job leading Lifespan for the last 13 years. His leadership and vision helped turn around the organization to make it one of the leading health care systems in the nation,” said Alfred J. Verrecchia, chairman of the Lifespan board of directors. “In my role on the Lifespan board, I’ve been fortunate to work with George first hand and see the changes he has brought about to better health care delivery throughout Lifespan and in Rhode Island. His leadership will be missed.”

“It has been an honor to lead Lifespan for the past 13 years. Each day, I have come to work knowing that I’m working with people who have the highest commitment to providing the best care possible. In the next 14 months, I will continue to help Lifespan partners advance the care we provide to patients and make the organization a driving force in Rhode Island’s economy,” said Vecchione.

“My goal has always been to create a financially stable organization that is positioned to make significant improvements in patient care and enhance clinical programs throughout Lifespan. I’m very proud of these efforts and their impact on making Lifespan the leading health care system in our region.”

When he joined Lifespan in 1998, the then four-year-old health system faced extraordinary challenges, including a $50 million operating loss, delayed infrastructure investments, uncompetitive wage rates for employees and low employee morale.

Vecchione led a vast turnaround of the system that saw significant net operating gains, including a high of $48.1 million in 2007. In fiscal 2010, the system had a $30.9 net operating gain, the addition and enhancement of new and existing programs, more than $700 million invested in capital improvements, and a strong workforce that has grown to more than 12,000 employees.

Vecchione, who resides in Warwick, holds a master’s in health care management systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., an undergraduate degree in accounting from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Business Administration by Bryant University.

In Rhode Island, he was the first chairman of the Rhode Island Quality Institute and currently serves on its board, as well as on the boards of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, The Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Bryant University and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council

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