Bill Leaver will retire as CEO of UnityPoint Health in January 2016, capping off an eight-year run as the top executive of one of the largest health systems in the Midwest.
Kevin Vermeer, UnityPoint's chief strategy officer and former chief financial officer, will become the new CEO and will spend the next year transitioning to the role.
“I am proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure,” Leaver, 63, said in a news release (PDF). “UnityPoint Health is well-positioned to reach new levels of success as the premier healthcare system in the region.”
Leaver joined UnityPoint in 2003 as CEO of Trinity Regional Health System, an affiliate based in Rock Island, Ill. When Leaver took over leadership of UnityPoint in January 2008, then known as Iowa Health System, the system had 12 hospitals and about $2 billion in annual revenue. The system has since changed its name and now has 32 hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin and $3.7 billion in projected annual revenue.
Leaver has also pushed the West Des Moines, Iowa-based system to become an early adopter of accountable care organizations. ACOs are networks of doctors and hospitals that care for a defined population and are rewarded financially for meeting quality benchmarks while reducing costs. UnityPoint's Trinity ACO is one of the 19 remaining Medicare Pioneer ACOs. The system also has a Medicare Shared Savings ACO and a commercial ACO contract with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Vermeer, 50, will add the title of president for the rest of 2015. He has worked for UnityPoint for more than 15 years, most of them as CFO.
Through the first nine months of 2014, UnityPoint posted a $66.9 million operating surplus, a 2.5% operating margin. The organization's total surplus was $564 million, a large jump almost entirely attributable to its acquisition of Meriter Health Services, an integrated health system in Madison, Wis.
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