Kortum resigns from NAH, moving west

JOE KORTUM

Kortum, who has been with Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) for 11 years, has been chosen the new president and chief executive officer of Southwest Washington Medical Center, a licensed 380-bed facility.

Kortum originally came to Flagstaff as president/CEO of Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) in 1992, and engineered the affiliation of FMC and Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC) in Cottonwood, to form NAH. Sedona Medical Center (SMC) also was established under his leadership.

Other accomplishments during his tenure include enriching healthcare services in Grand Canyon National Park, establishing the Peaks Senior Living Community, and expanding Guardian Air services in Northern Arizona.

"Joe has been an unbelievable asset to our organization," said Evelyn Grgurich, NAH board chair. "He will be missed for his leadership, integrity and vision. Joe and his wife Robin have been a part of the NAH family, and we regret losing both of them."

A nationwide search has begun for his replacement. In the interim, James A. Puffenberger, NAH chief financial officer, has been named to head NAH. It is expected that the search for a new president will take four to six months. Kortum is scheduled to leave Flagstaff in May.

"In my 24 years serving in hospital management, I have never agonized as much as I have in making this difficult decision. My family and I have been welcomed and blessed to live in this beautiful part of the world, and the NAH employees are truly the best anywhere," Kortum said.

Kortum has been involved in numerous professional and community activities, including the Four Corners Healthcare Alliance, Peaks Senior Living Community and United Way. He is the Arizona delegate to the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board.

In October of last year, he was elected chairman of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. Previously he held administrative positions at Mercy Medical Center, Redding, Calif.; Providence Medical Center, Medford, Ore.; and St. Vincent Hospital & Medical Center, Portland, Ore.

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