Tag Archives: Becky Kuhn


Banner Health finalizes Payson Regional merger

Banner Health announced that the merger of Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA) into Banner has been consummated and a definitive agreement has been signed with Payson Hospital Corporation.  Banner will assume operation of the 44-bed Payson Regional Medical Center on August 1, 2015. No interruptions in services are anticipated during this transition.

“We were anxious to see this transaction finalized so that we can concentrate on the transition of clinical services, physician recruitment and connecting with the hospital employees and volunteers,” said Becky Kuhn, Executive Vice President for Community Delivery at Banner Health. “The hospital has served patients and the community well for many years and we are excited to build upon that legacy.”

The hospital, to be renamed Banner Payson Medical Center, will continue to operate under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Lance Porter. Porter recently accepted an offer to join Banner Health. The nearly 350 Payson Regional employees will be transitioning their employment to Banner Health effective August 1 when the transaction is complete.

“We have had great opportunities to begin meeting with hospital employees in the last week, and look forward to interacting regularly with Lance and his team now that the business side of this transaction is complete,” said Todd Werner, President of the Arizona East Division of Banner Health. “I am very pleased that this wonderful group of people is joining the Banner family.”

“One of the highest priorities for our community is to provide world class, affordable health care while maintaining our hometown quality of life,” said Mayor Kenny Evans.  “This merger is the culmination of thousands of hours of effort on the part of teams of medical experts and community leaders.  This is a big step for MHA but a giant leap forward for Payson.”

In connection with the merger, Banner made a major donation to MHA Foundation, a newly formed organization that will carry on the mission and tradition of MHA, including the development of more opportunities for higher education within the Payson community.  The donation will enable the new Foundation to fulfill its mission of providing education and quality healthcare outcomes in Rim Country for generations to come.

Banner has committed to a capital investment of $25 million in Banner Payson Medical Center over the next seven years. 

Banner will look to maintain or grow the clinical services currently offered at Payson Regional, including the growth of Telehealth services. It is Banner’s intent to keep Payson patients in the community for care whenever possible.

Discussions with Banner Health were initiated by MHA as a result of the impending expiration of an 18-year lease agreement with Payson Hospital Corporation.

Banner Health has a national reputation for clinical quality and innovation in the delivery of health care. Banner is one of the top performing health systems in the U.S. based on clinical quality according to Truven Health Analytics. Truven, formerly Thomson Reuters, found that Banner Health has higher survival rates, fewer complications and system-wide clinical excellence. They have recognized Banner as one of the top five large health systems nationally for three of the past five years.


Banner Health announces executive leadership changes

Banner Health announced a shift in hospital executive leadership in its Arizona East Region last week. These changes were effective on Monday, March 16.

The transition began with the promotion of Todd Werner, former Chief Executive Officer at Banner Gateway Medical Center and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, who was appointed to serve as President of Banner’s Arizona East Region.

Werner, along with Banner’s Arizona West Region President Rob Gould and Western Region President Jim Ferando, are part of the leadership team that reports to Becky Kuhn, Executive Vice President of Community Delivery for Banner Health.

Cascading changes include the following, all with a report to Todd Werner:

• Lamont Yoder, RN, replaced Werner as CEO of Banner Gateway and Banner MD Anderson.

• Laura Robertson, RN, moved from her post as CEO at Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital into the role of CEO on the Banner Desert Medical Center campus. This vacancy results from the recent promotion of former Banner Desert CEO Rob Gould to President, Arizona West Region.

• Julie Nunley, RN, CEO at Banner Ironwood Medical Center and Banner Goldfield Medical Center, became CEO of Banner Baywood and Banner Heart.

• Serving as interim CEO for Banner Ironwood and Banner Goldfield will be Tracy French, the Chief Financial Officer for these facilities.


Banner Health teams up with Summit Healthcare

Summit Healthcare announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement with Banner Health to provide continuing care to the patients who are seen at Summit Healthcare but need a higher level of care that Summit Healthcare may not be able to provide.

Across the country, healthcare facilities are joining forces to create large networks of healthcare providers and transitioning to accountable care organizations, focused on increased collaboration.

Summit Healthcare identifies Banner Health as a preferred provider for a higher level of specialty care and telemedicine health care services. Banner Health provides patients in the White Mountain communities immediate access to a tele-psychiatrist or tele-neurologist through a real time video conferencing unit located at Summit Healthcare’s Emergency Department.

“This collaboration is an example of how healthcare organizations can work together to provide quality healthcare services that one facility may not have available to our communities,” says Ron McArthur, CEO of Summit Healthcare, “ultimately the residents of our communities benefit when resources are used to expand rather than duplicate services.”

Banner Health is Arizona’s second largest private employer operating 16 hospitals in the state (Casa Grande Regional Medical Center will become part of Banner on June 9), as well as in health centers and clinics and other related services. “Summit Healthcare provides outstanding care to its community and we’re very pleased and honored to collaborate as their partner to provide broader access through expanded services in the area,” said Banner’s Arizona East Region President Becky Kuhn. “We look forward to continued discussions about further opportunities for collaboration in support of Summit Healthcare’s mission to serve residents of and visitors to the White Mountain community,” Kuhn stated.


Banner Health completes acquisition of Casa Grande hospital

Banner Health and Regional Care Services Corporation, the parent company of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center (CGRMC), have signed an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA), an important milestone that moves the acquisition process of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center by Banner forward. The APA describes the financial details of the acquisition.

The completion of the APA follows the Letter of Intent that was signed and announced by the two organizations on Dec. 30, 2013, together with Banner’s agreement to provide interim funding for CGRMC operations. The acquisition is anticipated to be completed in May, 2014.

“Not only are we joining the leading health system in Arizona, but we’re also joining a system that is recognized as one of the top clinical care systems in the nation,” said Rona Curphy, president and CEO of CGRMC. “I’m excited for our patients, employees, doctors and the city of Casa Grande and surrounding areas that will be gaining an outstanding partner committed to improving the health of our community,” she added.

As provided in the APA, CGRMC filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the federal bankruptcy court in Tucson on Tuesday, Feb. 4. While a difficult decision, it was agreed by the respective organizations that this was the best approach to ensuring that the interests of CGRMC’s patients, employees and creditors were fully protected during the acquisition process. The CGRMC Foundation was exempted from this reorganization. Banner has agreed to continue funding for CGRMC operations during the bankruptcy and through the closing of the acquisition. Completion of the acquisition is subject to approval of the APA and associated plan of reorganization by the bankruptcy court.

“This medical center is a critically important community asset, and we believe an important outcome will be that more people will choose to stay in Casa Grande for the outstanding care that is available at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center,” said Banner Health’s Arizona East Region President Becky Kuhn.

The process of transitioning CGRMC operations into Banner Health will begin with meetings during the next few weeks between Banner leaders in conjunction with CGRMC employees and doctors. These meetings will help complete a comprehensive plan to guide the transition. “The goal is to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible, and I have committed to our staff, doctors and community that I will keep them informed of developments every step of the way,” said Curphy. “We are confident that activities associated with this acquisition will not disrupt the outstanding patient care that we will continue to provide,” she concluded.