Mercy Regional Medical Center’s new interim CEO will start next week, as the region grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The hospital announced Mike Murphy would temporarily replace the outgoing CEO, Will McConnell, starting April 6. McConnell spent 10 years with Mercy and announced his departure earlier this month.
“Being a long-term Durango resident, I am committed to supporting our community, our health care providers and associates while continuing the 138-year legacy of the Sisters of Mercy,” Murphy said.
Murphy, who has lived in Durango for nine years, will also continue to serve as vice president of strategy for Centura Health – Mercy’s parent company, the hospital said. He has more than 25 years in the hospital administration field.
“Mike has a long history of working with both Mercy’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Trustees, which will prove invaluable as he leads Mercy on an interim basis,” said Steve Swisher, Mercy’s board chairman, in a news release.
McConnell, who spent three years out of his 10-year tenure as the hospital’s CEO, will end his time with Mercy on April 10. It was announced earlier this month he will move to Arizona as the next CEO and president of Kingman Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in Mojave County.
The transition comes as the region battles the COVID-19 outbreak and health care experts predict hospital resources across the country will be strained.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Colorado reported 2,966 cases of COVID-19 in 50 counties and 69 deaths. San Juan Basin Public Health reported Monday afternoon that La Plata County had 23 positive cases of the virus and Archuleta County had one.
But the full scope of the spread of the virus in Southwest Colorado is hard to quantify, SJBPH acknowledged this week. Health care providers are required to report only positive cases to SJBPH, not the total number of tests. Mercy isn’t releasing its number of completed tests.
The hospital emphasized the need for an easy transition as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the region.
“During this time of uncertainty and fear, we want to assure our community that we are organized, focused and prepared as we collaborate with our community on meeting the COVID-19 virus challenge,” Murphy said.