Chris Clarke named vice president of Verde Valley Medical Clinic

Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC) announced Chris Clarke, R.N., C.M.P.E., accepted the position of vice president of Verde Valley Medical Clinic physician group. Clarke will provide administrative oversight for VVMC's outpatient physician practices, which include heart and vascular, neurology, urology, family practice, general surgery and orthopedics. The division consists of more than 60 healthcare providers and more than 120 employees.

"Chris brings the knowledge and experience we need to move our physician practices to the next level and continue to provide excellent healthcare to our residents," said Barbara Dember, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., VVMC interim president and chief executive officer. "We are ecstatic to welcome someone with Chris' expertise to our team."

Clarke has spent her career working at nationally recognized healthcare systems. She is a registered nurse, certified medical practice administrator and designated Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. She received the black belt, recognized as one of the most effective management tools for business improvement, from Villanova University. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from City University of Seattle and a nursing degree from Bellevue College.

"I look forward to drawing on my knowledge and experience as we evolve the delivery of healthcare in the Verde Valley to meet the challenges of healthcare reform," Clarke said.

Clarke came to VVMC as a contract employee in 2012 before moving into the interim vice president role earlier this year. Prior to moving to the Verde Valley, she worked with medical practices in the Northwest and later consulted independently. In 1982, she joined the nationally revered Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle serving in various roles, including her final role as administrative director of clinic operations. In 1996, she was awarded Virginia Mason's Outstanding Leader of the Year. In 2002, she accepted the position of regional vice president of PeaceHealth Medical Group, a 600-plus physician practice covering Oregon, Washington and Alaska. She received a promotion to system vice president before leaving the group in 2009.

Since leaving PeaceHealth, Clarke has worked as a consultant, traveling to hospitals to fill a variety of roles as an interim leader. From 2009 to 2010, she served as senior manager of ECG Consulting, playing a key role as interim CEO of Skagit Valley Medical Clinic, a 100-plus physician group in northwest Washington State. In 2011, she founded Concinnity Consulting, which later brought her to VVMC.

VVMC is an award-winning hospital ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the U.S. by Healthgrades. This is the 5th year in a row VVMC has been recognized by Healthgrades for patient safety excellence. The Leapfrog Group also awarded VVMC "A" grades in 2012 and 2013.

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