Stephen Ummel will leave his post as Advocate Health Care's co-chief executive officer and chairman of the board to join Ernst & Young's Health Care Consulting Group.
Ummel, 54, resigned early last week and in April will begin consulting with healthcare organizations to help them create and enlarge integrated delivery systems out of the firm's Chicago office.
"I will be involved in mergers, acquisitions and hospital physician integration strategies," said Ummel, who will be Ernst & Young's national adviser for integrated delivery systems.
The move comes a little more than a year after Oak Brook, Ill.-based Advocate was formed, touting its "co-CEO" structure as a leadership model of the future. Advocate won't fill Ummel's co-CEO position but will select a new chair next month to lead its 20-member board of directors. The new chair won't be an Advocate employee.
Advocate was formed through the merger of EHS Health Care and Lutheran General HealthSystem of Park Ridge, Ill., where Ummel was president and CEO.
Ummel has more than 25 years in hospital administration. He currently serves as chairman of the American Hospital Association section on healthcare systems. Richard Risk, former president and CEO of EHS, will become Advocate's lone CEO after sharing chief executive duties and serving as Advocate's president.
Should Advocate decide not to replace Ummel, the system may be able to pencil in a half-million dollars to its bottom line. Ummel earned $521,648 as president and CEO of Lutheran General HealthSystem for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1994, according to the most recent tax returns available from Advocate.
Ummel's departure from Advocate had been the subject of speculation for several months, but Ummel said he hadn't talked to Ernst & Young until recent weeks. "A month ago, I thought I would be at Advocate indefinitely," Ummel said.