(This story was updated at 4 p.m. ET.)
Dr. Charles Sorenson, president and CEO of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, has announced he will retire in October 2016.
Sorenson, 64, has led the 22-hospital system since 2009. He's previously served as executive vice president and COO, a position he took in 1998.
After he retires as CEO, Sorenson will head a new Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute that will focus on teaching healthcare professionals about quality improvement and cost-effectiveness. The center will provide leadership training for physicians and other healthcare leaders.
“Under Dr. Sorenson's leadership, Intermountain has advanced its local, national, and international reputation as an industry leader in evidence-based medicine,” said Scott Anderson, chair of Intermountain's board.
Sorenson, who continues to practice urologic surgery, helped found Intermountain Medical Group and was chairman of its board before becoming COO. Throughout his tenure, Sorenson has spearheaded Intermountain's efforts to reduce readmissions, improve efficiency and control expenses.
Dr. Brent James, the system's Chief Quality Officer, told Modern Healthcare that Sorenson has become a leader in the data-driven clinical improvement movement.
“I can't count the times when an issue has come up when it's between money and a patient outcome; we go with the patient every time. I can count on him to put the community we serve first,” James said in an August interview.
James, who has worked closely with Sorenson on the system's quality improvement efforts, developed Intermountain's Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research, which will be housed in the new Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute led by Sorenson.
Intermountain will conduct a national search for Sorenson's replacement, the system said.
Sorenson and Intermountain have faced increasing competition from University of Utah Health Care. As of August, Intermountain had a strong, steady statewide market share of 55%, but University of Utah grew to hold 17.3% of the market in 2012. However, roughly half of the university's medical graduates go on to work at Intermountain.