Bev Schulman is the new interim Telluride Regional Medical Center CEO, the facility’s board decided during its regular meeting Friday, ending a months-long search after former CEO Karen Winkelmann resigned at the end of September.
Schulman assumed the interim CEO position Monday and will serve in that role while the board continues its search for a permanent CEO for the medical center, according to a med center news release Monday.
“Bev's prior knowledge of the organization, its team members, and understanding our long-standing goal of finding a permanent home for the med center made her the most desirable interim candidate,” board chair Richard Betts told the Daily Planet.
Med center officials have long aimed to build a bigger medical facility within the county, as the current one on Pacific Avenue has reached its capacity, even with the temporary expansion into the Depot Building during the pandemic. A new med center has been included in the ongoing talks regarding the Society Turn development project.
Betts said Schulman will focus on that, as well as next year’s budget.
“She’ll be working with the director of finance, Jennifer Oliver-Li, on the adoption of the 2022 budget, along with the ongoing efforts of planning for the new facility,” he said.
Schulman has extensive experience as a consultant and in executive management roles with health care organizations, including urban and rural hospitals, medical practices, mental health entities, and hospices, according to the release. Most recently she has been the owner of Turning Point Healthcare Advisors, a consulting firm that provides strategic and operational planning, financial forecasting and analyses, planning for new facilities, and service in various interim health care executive roles.
Prior to founding Turning Point, Schulman held a variety of health care leadership positions with Policy Studies Inc., Janus Healthcare Consultants and Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. She also taught classes in health care policy and economics at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Denver University.
“We are delighted to welcome Bev to our team,” Betts added. “Her business skills and health care leadership experience will make sure we can continue to deliver the high quality primary and emergency care our community deserve during the transition to a permanent CEO.”
Prior to the decision to hire Schulman, the med center board held a special meeting Nov. 10 to consider another potential candidate — Tim Cashman, the current CFO at Estes Park Medical Center — though not all board members and med center officials had an opportunity to interview him at the time of the meeting.
Afterwards, Betts explained to the Planet that there were a handful of other candidates to consider. Dan Caton, a retired executive, briefly held the role as the interim search progressed.
Finding a permanent CEO may take up to six months, according to Betts, so the board made the decision to hire an interim CEO in the meantime. Betts called the interim position “more of a caretaker position” in the previous interview with the Planet.
“It’s more of a caretaker position. We’re certainly not asking them to make any drastic changes. We have a great staff. We have a great organization. And we deliver great care to the community. We really don’t want anyone to change anything at this point until we find a permanent CEO that can take us the next level as we move toward our next hospital,” he said.
Officials have cited the need to hire more personnel as well, especially given the impacts of the pandemic.
“We have some leftover challenges from the pandemic. We have some staffing issues. We have some challenges as an organization. … I want somebody that’s going to walk along with me and tackle all of this stuff,” said Diana Koelliker, medical director of Emergency & trauma services Telluride EMS director, during the Nov. 10 in sharing details of her conversation with then-candidate Cashman.
Betts is confident that the med center will navigate finding a new CEO, staffing up and eventually finding a new home well.
“We have a great management team and a great staff. The organization has delivered exemplary care throughout the pandemic, even though it’s been taxing on everyone,” he’s previously said. “But I feel very good about our organization. I’m looking forward to finding the permanent CEO to take us into that next level of building a new hospital and expanding services to the community that are so vitally needed.”
For more about the med center and the board, visit tellmed.org.