After departures, Renown focuses on collaboration

RENO — Rocked by the dismissal of four of its top executives, Renown Health will focus on restoring its relationships with Northern Nevada physicians.

“This is a critical piece,” said David Line, chairman of the Renown Health board. “We need to become a physician-centric organization.”

Renown, the largest hospital and health care organization in Northern Nevada, said Tuesday that it parted ways with longtime Chief Executive Officer Jim Miller, who was at the center of troubled acquisitions of cardiology practices by Renown.

The nonprofit organization also cut ties with Kelly Testolin, its general counsel; Andy Pearl, its vice president of system development; and Phil Schweber, its business development administrator.

Line said the personnel moves came after Renown’s board discovered some previously unknown background about the cardiology acquisitions. The discovery came during a trial of fraud and conspiracy allegations levied by 14 cardiologists who had been affiliated with Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates.

Creating a group to develop closer collaboration between physicians and Renown is among the first steps that Renown’s board is taking.

That committee will be led by Leslie Smith, a physician who serves on the Renown board.

The board also has extended an invitation for a meeting with the cardiologists whose legal complaints set in motion the events that led to the top executives’ departures.

At the same time, Line said, Renown’s board believes it needs fresh viewpoints from outside experts.

As a first step, it named veteran California health care executive Michael J. Peterson to the Renown board.

Peterson, who recently served as chief operating officer of Stanford Hospital, becomes the 10th member of a Renown board that is dominated by Reno-area business owners and professionals.

Line will serve as interim president of Renown. The day-to-day operations of the 5,000-employee organization will be overseen by Donald C. Sibery, who was named interim CEO. He’s a 35-year veteran of health care management and consulting.


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