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Capella Healthcare Appoints Dr. Erik Swensson as Chief Medical Officer

Capella Healthcare Appoints Dr. Erik Swensson as Chief Medical Officer
by Capella Healthcare | Jan 06, 2011

FRANKLIN– Capella Healthcare, Inc. has announced the appointment of Erik Swensson, MD, FACS, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO), according to Dan Slipkovich, Chief Executive Officer.

“With more than 25 years as a practicing physician and significant leadership experience, Dr. Swensson is the ideal individual to serve in this new role for our growing company,” said Slipkovich. “His outstanding leadership of Capella’s National Physician Leadership Group over the past year has been invaluable in providing guidance and direction as we prepare for the challenging years ahead. As we continue to invest in leadership resource development, establishing this formal CMO position will support our continued advancement of quality care and service excellence.”

Every Capella-affiliated hospital has a Physician Leadership Group (PLG) consisting of 6-10 members representing a cross-section of its medical staff, Slipkovich said. The PLG provides input to hospital leadership on all aspects of operations, including strategic development, key initiatives, quality improvement, patient and employee satisfaction, and more. One member from each hospital’s PLG is designated to serve on Capella’s National Physician Leadership Group (NPLG), bringing the physician perspective to all major decisions.

The new position has been structured so that Swensson, a surgeon, will be able to continue practicing medicine while serving simultaneously in the corporate role. He is a vascular and general surgeon affiliated with Willamette Valley Medical Center (WVMC) in McMinnville, OR, which has been a part of Capella Healthcare since February 2008.

As CMO, Swensson assumes senior leadership responsibility for facilitating the work of Capella’s National Physician Leadership Group, ensuring that physician leaders from across the company are continuously involved in shaping the company’s vision and future strategies. Swensson will also be charged with providing leadership for Capella’s affiliated hospitals’ quality and service excellence initiatives as well as for on-going communication with medical staff members.

Swensson has practiced medicine in Oregon since 1998, serving in a variety of leadership positions with the hospital and in the community. At the hospital, he has held numerous medical staff leadership roles, rising to Chief of Staff in 2007. He has also been a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees. He has served on WVMC’s Physician Leadership Group since 2000, and is currently Chair. When Capella Healthcare formed its National Physician Leadership Group last year, Swensson was selected as National Chair because of his proven leadership abilities.

The first president of the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support for low-income cancer patients, Swensson continues to serve on the Foundation’s Board. Respected by his peers, he was elected as President of the McMinnville Physicians Organization, serving for four years in that position. In the community, he has served on the Board of Directors for the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce and was named “Businessman of the Year” in 2003, the first physician to earn that honor in 50 years.

Swensson earned his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, in 1979 with honors. He then completed his general surgery internship and residency with Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, where he was selected as Chief Surgical Resident. He also completed a vascular surgery fellowship at St. Louis University in 1985. He has earned board certification in general surgery and vascular surgery from the American Board of Surgery, as well as completed extensive education and training in wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“I am pleased and humbled by the confidence placed in me with this appointment,” Swensson said. “For over 25 years, I have strived to improve patient care in all the medical communities in which I have practiced. It became very clear early in my career that the best care was made available to the patients when physicians and hospital administrators worked together. I strongly believe that Capella is fully committed to this ideal and look forward to advancing Capella’s commitment to its patients and physicians.”

About Capella Healthcare
Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 13 general acute-care hospitals in seven states. With the philosophy that all healthcare is local, Capella collaborates with each hospital’s medical staff, board and community leadership to take care to the next level. The company has access to significant leadership and financial resources, reinvesting 100% of net cash flow back into its family of hospitals to strengthen and expand services and facilities. For more information, visit the website at

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