North Valley Hospital selects new CEO

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  • North Valley Hospital is seen in this Pilot file photo.

  • 1

    Kevin Abel

  • North Valley Hospital is seen in this Pilot file photo.

  • 1

    Kevin Abel

The chief executive officer from a hospital in Chelan, Washington, has been named as the next CEO for North Valley Hospital.

Kevin Abel, who has served at Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics since 2009, has been selected to lead North Valley. The Whitefish hospital Board of Directors made the selection to hire Abel and it was ratified by the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Board of Trustees, the hospital announced Friday afternoon.

Abel is set to begin at North Valley on April 2, 2018.

“Kevin will bring a unique skill set and breadth of experience to North Valley Hospital,” said Jane Karas, Chair of the North Valley Hospital Board of Directors, in a prepared release. “The Board is extremely pleased that Kevin has accepted the position. We are confident that he is the right person to lead North Valley Hospital into the future.”

At the Chelan hospital, Abel led a health system consisting of five locations and 284 caregivers with a critical access hospital, a chemical dependency clinic, a primary care clinic, specialty care clinics, an EMS agency, rehabilitation services and mental health, according to a release by North Valley.

“I was very impressed by the team of physicians and staff at North Valley Hospital,” Abel said in a statement. “They have created a genuine, caring environment where patient care comes first. My family is excited about moving to Montana and becoming active members of the Whitefish community.”

Abel has 18 years of healthcare experience that spans healthcare finance, quality, facilities, human resources, marketing, contract negotiations, board relations and strategic planning, North Valley noted. Prior to joining Lake Chelan Community Hospital, Abel previously worked at the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon, for Seattle University and Comerica Bank. He had degrees from Seattle University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

According to the Whitefish hospital, Abel’s leadership philosophy includes fostering an environment of respect and collaboration by developing positive relationships with providers, caregivers and business partners. In his free time, Abel and his family enjoy hiking, skiing, fishing and other outdoor activities.

Since April Chris Thomas has been serving as interim CEO for North Valley, but this fall the hospital Board of Directors announced that it had initiated the search process to select a permanent CEO for the organization. Thomas had taken over the role for interim CEO Tate Kreitinger, who took on the position after Jason Spring stepped down as CEO at the Whitefish hospital and moved into a new role with Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

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