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Via Christi Health

Ulrich to become chief clinical officer for Via Christi Health
Dec. 20, 2013

Ulrich to become chief clinical officer for Via Christi Health

Karl Ulrich, MD, regional chief physician executive for Dignity Health in California and former president and chief executive officer of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, will be joining Via Christi Health as chief clinical officer in February.

Ulrich, whose medical specialty is psychiatry, also is a member of Via Christi Health’s board of directors — a role he will relinquish when he joins the health system’s senior leadership team.

As a physician leader for the past 15 years, Ulrich has overseen the development of clinical programs, service line expansions, strategic planning, and physician group operations at multiple sites across a wide geographic area.

“Dr. Ulrich’s combination of experiences in a physician-led, multi-specialty group practice and in Catholic health care working closely with physicians from many practice models make him a great fit here at Via Christi. Dr. Ulrich will play a lead role in collaborating with all of our physician partners to make Via Christi the best place for patients and senior residents to receive care and the best place to practice medicine in Kansas,” said Jeff Korsmo, president and CEO of Via Christi Health.

“He shares our commitment to transforming Via Christi into a high reliability organization that delivers the highest-quality, safest care. I am confident he will help us achieve these goals and I know he will be a great asset to the entire community.”

Ulrich and Carl Rider, chief clinical administrative officer, will jointly oversee the clinical operations at all Via Christi locations, in collaboration with Jack Shellito, MD, senior physician leader of Via Christi Clinic, and Kim Shank, its senior administrator of clinical operations.

Ulrich also will partner with Steve Nesbit, DO, Via Christi’s chief medical officer, and the Center for Clinical Excellence that he leads to help Via Christi achieve its safety goal of reducing serious safety events by 40 percent within three years across all Via Christi locations. He also will help lead the development of a new model of care for behavioral health.

The Marshfield Clinic, where Ulrich served for six and a half years as a division medical director and six years as the clinic’s president and CEO, is a thriving integrated group practice with nearly 800 physicians providing care at 55 sites in Wisconsin. He left Marshfield after having served the three-term maximum under the clinic’s rotational leadership structure to become chief physician executive in October 2012 for Dignity Health’s Sacramento region, which employs 1,680 physicians and operates eight hospitals in northern California. Dignity Health is the new name of Catholic Healthcare West and is one of the nation’s five largest health care systems.


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