UCHealth is pleased to announce that Christopher A. Gessner will be the next president and chief executive officer of University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Gessner will also have oversight for UCHealth’s other facilities in the metro Denver region including Broomfield Hospital, Highlands Ranch Hospital and numerous outpatient locations.
“I am excited to welcome such a strong and experienced leader to the University of Colorado Hospital. Chris is a passionate advocate for patients and has a track record of supporting the delivery of quality care. His experience will also support our focus on research and education,” said UCHealth President and CEO Elizabeth Concordia. “Working alongside the renowned experts at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Chris will help ensure our patients receive the best possible experience while we innovate and define the future of health care.”
Gessner, 52, is currently the president of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital where he led initiatives to advance patient care, improve access for patients and elevate the overall health care experience. He led care delivery innovations including an array of virtual health services, development of an international pediatric telemedicine center and embedding behavioral health services in primary care settings. Gessner has a reputation for excellent relationships with physicians and other clinicians and for enabling teams with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to work across organizational boundaries and deliver exceptional performance.
“I am honored to join UCHealth and lead the nationally recognized University of Colorado Hospital,” said Gessner. “As the region’s only academic medical center, UCH serves a multi-state region, providing the most advanced care available. I look forward to partnering with the CU School of Medicine providers and UCH staff to ensure that everyone who visits UCHealth locations in metro Denver receives outstanding care and an excellent experience.”
During his almost three decades in health care, Gessner has also held leadership positions at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Geisinger Health System and Guthrie Healthcare System. He has developed key partnerships with physician groups and expanded patients’ access to primary care and behavioral health.
“Chris’s experience with innovation and implementing technologies like telepsychiatry and virtual health visits will be valuable as UCHealth continues expanding in these areas,” said Concordia. “While our physical locations are essential to providing excellent care, these virtual health innovations can provide more convenient care at a lower cost for all.”
Gessner has master’s degrees in health care administration and business from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William and Mary. He will begin his role at UCH in late February.