Chief Of Fletcher Allen Takes Job In Kansas City

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(Host) After eight years at the helm, the head of Vermont’s largest hospital is leaving for a job in Missouri.

Fletcher Allen Health Care president Melinda Estes says she will leave her current post in August to become the president and CEO at St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City.

St. Luke’s is a faith-based, not-for-profit health system that includes 11 hospitals in the Kansas City area.

Estes came to Fletcher Allen back in 2003 after the hospital’s previous CEO was ousted in a financial scandal and then indicted on federal fraud charges. Many state officials credit Estes with restoring the hospital’s credibility and trust.

Estes says she’ll be leaving Fletcher Allen well-positioned to continue providing high-quality care to its patients.

(Estes) "The organization will continue to thrive, and I’m going to an area that’s much larger and I think I will miss some of the scale and size of Vermont. I will miss Vermont. I will miss the farmers’ markets, the sense of community. I will miss the sense of civic pride."

(Host) Her announcement comes two weeks after Estes told the hospital’s trustees that she may be stepping down.

Estes says that, looking back on her tenure, she’s most proud of her ability to get the most of her staff and allowing them to succeed at their work:

(Estes) "which is to take the best care of patients they possibly can and to really be deeply committed to humane care and to personal care."

(Host) Fletcher Allen says John Brumsted will step in as interim chief; he’s currently serving as the hospital’s chief medical officer.

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