Baptist Health names former head of Wisconsin’s Aurora Health Care System as new CEO

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The chief operating officer (COO) of Wisconsin’s largest private employer and healthcare system has been named CEO of Baptist Health following a nationwide search.

Gerard “Ger” Colman will assume his new role with Baptist Health on Monday, Dec. 4. The COO for the Aurora Health Care System in Milwaukee, Wisc., has been involved in healthcare for 25 years, with wide-ranging experience in operations, finance, information technology and physician engagement. He replaces Steve Hanson, who departed in March.

Gerard “Ger” Colman

“Ger Colman has been preparing to take the reins as a CEO for his entire career – cultivating a wide range of skills necessary to oversee Baptist Health, Kentucky’s largest not-for-profit healthcare provider,” said Allen Rudd, Baptist Health Board of Directors chairman. “We are fortunate to have found someone with his breadth and depth of experience with not-for-profit and faith-based organizations.

“His initial objectives as CEO will be to learn about our markets, our mission, our vision and our direction for the future – and bring his expertise to bear in looking for new opportunities for Baptist Health.”

“I look forward to working with our Baptist Health presidents, their respective boards, employees and physicians,” said Colman. “For nearly 100 years, Baptist Health has served its communities well, supported by its faith-based heritage. Baptist Health, as a market leader in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, is well positioned for continued success in adapting to the changing healthcare environment.”

The 47-year-old spent four years at Aurora Health Care with its 15 hospitals, more than 150 clinics and more than 70 pharmacy locations. Aurora employs 33,000 people and has a medical practice spanning three states with some 1,800 physicians and providers.

Baptist Health, with more than 25,000 employees, has eight hospitals (seven in Kentucky and one in Southern Indiana), more than 300 points of care and the Baptist Health Medical Group with about 1,100 physicians and other providers.

During his tenure at Aurora, Colman helped to reduce costs while focusing on establishing outpatient centers to bring patient care closer to home. He also led development of heart, cancer and rehabilitation programs.

Prior to joining Aurora, Colman worked for a decade at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a three-campus, 19,000-employee cancer care and research institute in Houston. There, he served in a number of positions of increasing responsibility, rising to senior vice president and chief of clinical operations.

Colman, who holds a doctorate in healthcare management from the University of Texas School of Public Health, began his healthcare career in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman.

He also served in senior clinical and financial management positions for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, N.J., and director of patient financial services at Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, N.J.

From Baptist Health

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