HCMC names new CEOby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Hennepin County Medical Center has named a health care administrator from California, Arthur Gonzalez, its new chief executive officer.
Gonzalez will lead the Hennepin Healthcare System, which operates the Minneapolis trauma center and public hospital and clinic system.
Gonzalez replaces Lynn Abrahamsen, who last year announced her intention to retire in 2009. Her last day as CEO will be June 30.
Gonzalez has a doctor of public health degree from the University of Texas, and a master's degree in health care administration from Trinity University.
Most recently, he was president and CEO of Tri-City Healthcare District, a public health care system in Oceanside, Calif., where he spent 10 years.
"Hennepin County Medical Center is a special place with a special mission," Gonzalez said in a statement. "It is fortunate to have a sophisticated governing board and the strong support of Hennepin County. It also benefits from a highly skilled and dedicated medical staff that shares the hospital's commitment to quality and service."
Gonzalez has also served as the chief executive officer of Schumpert Health System in Shreveport, La., St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas; and Kino Community Hospital in Tucson, Ariz.
"We are confident that in Art Gonzalez we have a CEO who will provide outstanding leadership and be a great fit for Hennepin County Medical Center," said Mark Bernhardson, the Healthcare System's board chair, in a statement. "He has a long and distinguished career in hospital management and has led a variety of public, for-profit, not-for-profit, faith-based, and teaching hospitals during his 35 years of service."
Hennepin County Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital with 465 beds at its downtown Minneapolis location. It also runs several clinics in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.
Gonzalez comes to HCMC at a time of budget uncertainty. Officials have expressed serious concerns about the potential of deep cuts in state spending for health care, as Gov. Pawlenty makes decisions on how to close the state's anticipated budget shortfall.
HCMC has made a series of cost-cutting moves over the past several months, including eliminating up to 200 full-time equivalent positions, instituting a pay freeze and employee furloughs, and putting off the purchase of property for a longer-term expansion.
Officials said cuts in state funding since 2008, and a drop in inpatient volume this year have resulted in a loss of approximately $10 million on operations.