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St. Luke's Blogs

Seasoned Pros Join the Leadership Team

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
December 26, 2011

I set out the priorities of my first year with the System in an earlier blog entry, to put things into context, explain where we are, and preview where we are headed. My priorities have had to do with creating alignment within and across the System; optimizing the leadership team; and instilling accountability throughout the organization.

I’ve written on alignment and plan to post on accountability soon, but want to focus here on introducing some newer members of our leadership team and highlighting some of the ways optimization is happening there.

I was most fortunate to inherit a wonderful leadership team from my predecessor, Ed Dahlberg.  Ed was a visionary and saw the future in health systems. He built the St. Luke’s Health System and established the geographic distribution and System components needed to provide accountable care to a market that crosses three states and includes urban and rural settings.

The challenge now is how to take the ingredients, continue with our alignment gains, and launch down a new path. We want to lead accountable care in our region and become a national leader in health care. By transforming our ways of work, we will deliver the highest possible quality, in the safest manner, achieving the best possible outcomes, at the lowest possible cost.

In football, if you want to be the national champion, you must have the players with the greatest potential, you must practice hard, and you must develop top performance in all areas: offense, defense, special teams, and coaching.

That’s just as true of us. In St. Luke’s case, we’ve needed to make sure that we strengthened the players we had, and that we filled gaps by drafting the best possible recruits we could find.

We’ve made key recruitments, and I’d like to introduce some of them here. These vital players have System-wide responsibilities, and you’ll be hearing more from them through my blog in the future. Expect to learn what they are focusing on, what they have achieved, and where they are taking us.

Samantha Collier, M.D.

Chief Quality Officer

Dr. Collier was formerly the chief medical officer at HealthGrades, which rates and profiles physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes across the country and is used by millions of consumers to help inform their care decisions. She is a nationally recognized quality expert and has served on a number of prestigious national quality committees.

My assessment upon arriving at St. Luke’s was that we were addressing quality improvement on a hospital-by-hospital basis, which was resulting in a fragmented approach to quality. We were missing opportunities for identifying and sharing best practices, failing to implement best practices in a systematic and standardized manner, and experiencing wide variation in the quality of care that we provided throughout the System.

With the addition of Dr. Collier, we are taking a systematic, standardized, data-driven approach to quality and safety improvement, and implementing best practices in the management of certain high-risk conditions across the System.

Kurt Seppi, M.D.

Executive Medical Director

Dr. Seppi is a family physician from the Magic Valley. Recognizing that St. Luke’s will need to be physician-led to be successful in the new, post-health care reform world, and taking note of the fact that we were on track to have more than 500 financially integrated physicians in our network, we hired Dr. Seppi to be the executive physician leader for our employed and contracted physician network.

Dr. Seppi is a fantastic physician leader who is helping us achieve alignment among our physicians, and helping to guide our transition from a fee-for-service environment to a pay-for-value structure.




Marc Chasin, M.D., MMM, CPE

Chief Medical Information Officer

Dr. Chasin is a family physician. Before he joined St. Luke’s, he had already achieved national recognition as a physician IT leader and for his work in guiding a large health system on the East Coast through its Epic electronic medical record implementation.

Dr. Chasin has been critical to the success of our myStLuke’s Epic ambulatory roll-out. He is overseeing the most important aspects of our EMR design as we accelerate clinical integration and drive patient- and caregiver-centeredness by making medical records available to the patient.


Mike Reno

System Vice President, Performance Excellence

After seeing us through a CEO transition in the Magic Valley and doing an amazing job as the interim CEO for that part of our organization, Mike was brought on to lead our System in a number of critical areas to help us achieve the Triple Aim: better health, better care, at a lower cost.

Mike is responsible for leading implementation of our TEAMwork methodology, based on Lean principles, throughout the System. A future blog entry will be focused on our TEAMwork approach to Lean thinking.

Mike has also been critical in establishing an Office of Program Management to ensure that we use evidence-based management principles in implementing the most significant initiatives across our System, and will be responsible for System supply chain optimization.

Randy Billings

System Vice President, Payor and Provider Relations

We were very fortunate to recruit Randy from Advocate Health Care, one of the nation’s top health systems. Randy helped develop Advocate’s accountable care strategy for commercial payors, and executed one of the first accountable care managed care contracts in the country with BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.

Randy is playing a vital role for us as we develop the capabilities and competencies necessary to embark with accountable care and to be successful in achieving our Triple Aim.

Tony Tomazic

Chief Transformation Officer

Tony joined us from Humana, a national health insurance company, where he was the director of consumer innovation.

Our vision states that St. Luke’s will “transform health care,” and I believe nothing transformative will happen if we continue to do things the same way we always have. We need to drive change, guided by patient and caregiver input, utilizing new care delivery models, taking advantage of technology in new ways, and employing innovation.

Tony is passionate about making change happen, and you will learn more about him as you read his guest posts in the coming months.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.