Summa Health names Dr. Cliff Deveny president and CEO
Dr. Cliff Deveny, who's been serving as interim president and CEO of Summa Health System since March 2017, will continue in that role on a permanent basis, the system's board of directors announced on Monday, Oct. 29
Deveny has been instrumental in guiding a financial and cultural turnaround of the health system, which had struggled following a tumultuous start to 2017.
Through August 2018, the organization reported an operating margin of $17.5 million, which is a turnaround of more than $50 million in operating income improvement compared to the like period in 2017, according to a news release.
"Dr. Deveny has done an outstanding job of transforming our culture," said Anthony Lockhart, chair of the Summa Health Board of Directors, in a prepared statement. "As a graduate of Firestone High School and a longtime member of the Summa family, he clearly understands the communities we serve and the importance of a positive, thriving workplace environment. His collaborative style, coupled with his deep understanding of our vision for population health, makes him the perfect choice to serve during this vitally important time as we search for a potential partner and solidify our future."
The announcement of permanent leadership comes as Summa embarkes on a mission to find a new partner health system to provide long-term financial stability, advance service offerings and support continued investment in the community's health.
Deveny, a former Summa Health official, returned to Akron as Summa's interim leader in March 2017. He had been president of Locus Health, a company in Charlottesville, Va., focused on software to support population health efforts.
He came back to Summa following the departure of Dr. Thomas Malone, who resigned as president and CEO in early 2017 after vocal opposition to a decision to not renew the contract of the independent physician group that had staffed its emergency departments for decades.
Summa Health continued to have a tumultuous year, rounding out 2017 with an operating loss of $28 million, which was less than projected in part thanks to swift action Deveny took to right the ship, including eliminating about 300 positions, discontinuing services, consolidating units and re-evaluating ongoing capital needs.
The system began to bridge its financial gap this year, putting the system back in the black and on track to return to previous operating income levels.
The news release credits several other successes in the past year and a half to Deveny's leadership, including: "continued improvement in engagement with employees and physicians; innovative and meaningful approaches to those struggling with opioid addiction; increased treatment options for patients; ongoing investments and enhancements in the Barberton and Akron campuses; and a 4.5-star rating for SummaCare's Medicare Advantage plans."
Deveny called returning to Summa "a gratifying experience and a tremendous honor."
"Working in partnership with the board of directors, Summa's leadership team, the medical staff and our dedicated employees across the organization, we have made tremendous improvements in the delivery of care," he said in a prepared statement. "This is a time of great opportunity, and I look forward to continuing my work as president and CEO to ensure the very best care for the people of our community, now and well into the future."
"Summa Health names Dr. Cliff Deveny president and CEO" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.
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