Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Medical Center CEO Karl Gills will retire in March after 11 years at the helm of Routt County’s only hospital. He will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Frank May.
The announcement was made Thursday morning by hospital officials. Gills’ last day will be March 31.
“I have been in hospital management since 1978 and am ready for the next chapter in my professional career, even though at this time I am not sure what that will be,” Gills, 57, said in a news release. “I feel very privileged to have served this community and YVMC over the past 11 years.”
May, 53, has been with the hospital since 1998. His executive positions at YVMC have included chief financial officer, chief operating officer and interim CEO.
Gills worked for several months with the hospital’s board of directors to come up with a leadership transition plan. Board Chairman Ron Spangler said May’s promotion was done after careful consideration.
“The board initiated and completed due diligence in considering Karl’s replacement and unanimously agreed that Frank May will succeed him as YVMC’s CEO,” Spangler said.
Yampa Valley Medical Center is a nonprofit hospital that serves the five-county area of Northwest Colorado. The current facility opened in November 1999. The attached Doak Walker Care Center opened one year later. YVMC is one of the largest employers in Northwest Colorado. Gills said the hospital had 423 full-time equivalent staff members as of August.
The hospital has continued to expand since Gills took the helm from previous CEO Margaret Sabin. With the help of its fundraising arm, the Healthcare Foundation for the Yampa Valley, YVMC recently has expanded its Family Birth Place and added services related to cancer and cardiology, among other fields. Gills said that growth and expansion is one of the things of which he’s most proud.
“I’d like to thank the community for its support of YVMC and our role in the community,” he said. “I’ve felt tremendous support from the community since the first day I came here.”
Before coming to Steamboat, Gills was an executive at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley for 15 years, including stints as its COO and CEO. He has no specific plans come April, though he does plan to remain in Steamboat with his wife. He said he will remain on the board of directors for Colorado Senior Residences, which is planning a major senior community near Casey’s Pond at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road.
Gills and May will spend the next six months preparing for the transition.
“Additionally, Karl will work with Frank to assure that he is fully knowledgeable about the activities and work that Karl has been doing within YVMC and the greater community,” Spangler said in the release.
May could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.