New Renown CEO to staff: Short stints not his style

Brian Erling, MD, the new president and CEO of Reno, Nev.-based Renown Health, said he is excited to keep business local — both the health system's and his own. 

On Nov. 14, his first day in his new role, Dr. Erling shared his history and leadership style in a letter to the system's roughly 7,000 employees. 

An emergency medicine physician, he has worked for more than 20 years in healthcare settings, and met his wife when she was working as a nurse in the surgical intensive care unit. Dr. Erling said he understands the sacrifices healthcare workers make for their patients and emphasized the importance of strong management to support them. 

"Some of you may have noticed that healthcare leaders have an impressively short half-life," Dr. Erling wrote. "I recall not being terribly impressed with one of our hospital leaders early in my career, and one of my senior partners told me to 'just wait, he'll be gone in a year or two.'" 

However, Dr. Erling said the quick turnover common in healthcare CEOs is "not my style," pointing to the 20 years he spent working in Colorado. Most recently, Dr. Erling spent more than six years as president and CEO of Colorado Springs-based Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, per his LinkedIn profile. 

Dr. Erling also shared his excitement about Renown Health, such as its partnership with the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine; its own insurance division, Hometown Health; and its role as the only nonprofit health system in the market, which allows it to reinvest in its own community. 

"We are in an unprecedented time in healthcare, as all U.S. health systems are experiencing skyrocketing expenses and insufficient revenue growth," Dr. Erling wrote. "Renown is not immune to these pressures, but we are well positioned in the market to weather the storm. By focusing on continuous clinical and operational improvement, Renown will continue to set the gold standard for community health system performance."

Read the full letter here.

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