Farewell Message From Our CEO


Six years ago this month, I was interviewing for the job of CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. I remember being so excited by the prospect of working in such a beautiful, inventive and kind state. Now, as I prepare to return to my home state of Colorado to lead the hospital association there, I am reflecting a lot on the amazing time I spent in Vermont, which absolutely turned out to be all those things.
It has been an honor and a privilege to lead VAHHS and work with such devoted and smart people in our health care system. Vermont hospitals helped to lead one of the nation’s best responses to the pandemic. It was challenging beyond belief, but I was always impressed by the courage and commitment of people throughout the state. Whether it was physicians and nurses working in dangerous and unknown conditions, or government officials standing side by side with hospital leaders to make difficult, but wise decisions, everyone stepped up and leaned in.
I could not be more proud of how those vital partnerships took shape, and of the leadership hospital teams showed managing the many challenges of COVID-19. Pandemic or no pandemic, Vermont hospital staff work tirelessly to meet their missions and ensure they are always there to serve their patients and communities. Our hospitals are, frankly, awesome places—24/7/365.
Hospitals here offer not only healing and hope but also problem solving and innovation. They are engaged in health care reform and contribute to their communities in countless ways outside hospital walls. VAHHS works hard to support these important efforts and will continue to do so long after I move to the Rockies.
Mike Del Trecco has been named the interim president and CEO of VAHHS. Mike is an 18-year veteran of the association and knows the policy and politics of Vermont’s health care system better than anyone. He is driven by the mission of helping hospitals make their communities healthier, stronger places and will be an excellent leader for VAHHS as the next crucial months unfold. You are in good hands!
Many difficult challenges lie ahead, but I am confident that the thoughtful people and collaborative spirit of Vermont will prevail—to the benefit of everyone who lives in this great state.
Thank you for reading this column, and for the generosity you showed me all six years I’ve been here. Have a great summer and stay in touch!