Margaret “Denny” DeNarvaez, who has provided executive leadership for one of the country’s largest faith-based health systems and led a hospital nationally recognized for excellence in cardiac care, has been named president and CEO of Wellmont Health System.
DeNarvaez will assume her new responsibilities Aug. 1, succeeding interim CEO Bob Burgin. She was the unanimous selection of the Wellmont board of directors following a national search process.
“Our search for the right CEO was a thorough, deliberate exercise involving board members, physicians, employees and community leaders,” said Roger K. Mowen Jr., chairman of the Wellmont board. “After meeting Denny and seeing firsthand her commitment to excellence and passion for service, every participant in the search process came away with the same strong conviction – this is the right person at the right time for Wellmont Health System, our hospitals and the communities we serve.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty in health care these days surrounding healthcare reform, but there’s one thing of which I am absolutely certain. With Denny’s leadership, our hospitals will build upon our already strong record of clinical and operational excellence. And we’ll remain squarely focused on our mission to deliver superior health care with compassion.”
DeNarvaez, 54, has more than 27 years’ experience in healthcare leadership. She presently serves as CEO of St. John’s Mercy Health Care, which includes hospitals in both St. Louis and Washington, Mo. DeNarvaez also provides leadership for Mercy’s extensive Missouri and Oklahoma operations, which encompass more than 2,200 licensed beds, nearly 15,000 employees and nearly 3,000 physicians.
As president and CEO of St. John’s Mercy Health Care, she oversees the fiscal, strategic (and operational initiatives of multiple facilities, including the 979-bed St. John’s Mercy Medical Center. This fully accredited teaching hospital operates St. Louis County’s only Level I trauma Center and Level III neonatal intensive care unit.
During her five-year tenure with the Mercy system, DeNarvaez has refocused the organization on its mission, vision and values, led a multimillion-dollar financial turnaround, established a dedicated heart hospital and developed a physician clinical council to leverage the experience and judgment of physicians in operations and planning. Under her leadership, St. John’s Mercy has been recognized as a “best place to work” by both the St. Louis Business Journal and Modern Healthcare magazine.
DeNarvaez previously served as president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, part of Allina Hospitals and Clinics. Abbott Northwestern, the largest hospital in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, is nationally recognized for clinical expertise in cardiac care through its renowned Minneapolis Heart Institute.
She has also served as CEO and chief financial officer of Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It’s not often in a person’s career you have the opportunity to marry a great job with a great location,” DeNarvaez said. “To lead Wellmont Health System, a premier healthcare system, while living in an area we have visited for the past 30 years is a blessing.
“My parents – now both in their 80s – will be within commuting distance. Equally appealing, however, is the opportunity to leverage the great work that has been done to date to make Wellmont a preferred healthcare provider. I feel privileged to have been selected to lead during this chapter in Wellmont’s history.”
DeNarvaez is a graduate of Drake University in Fort Lauderdale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree of business administration in accounting. She is a certified public accountant and holds leadership certifications from the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.
She was the 2009 recipient of the Visionary Leadership Award from the Missouri Hospital Association and in 2007 was named one of the Top 25 most influential businesswomen by the St. Louis Business Journal.
About Wellmont Health System: Wellmont Health System is a premier provider of healthcare services for Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, delivering top-quality, comprehensive healthcare and wellness services across the region. Wellmont hospitals offer a broad scope of services ranging from community-based acute care to highly specialized tertiary services including two trauma centers.