North Valley Hospital picks new CEO

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KEVIN ABEL

The top executive of a Chelan, Washington, hospital has been chosen as the new chief executive officer of North Valley Hospital.

Kevin Abel, who has more than 18 years in the health-care industry, was selected by the North Valley Hospital Board of Directors and ratified by the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Board of Trustees. Abel will begin work at the 25-bed critical-access hospital in Whitefish on April 2, 2018.

“Kevin will bring a unique skill set and breadth of experience to North Valley Hospital,” said Jane Karas, chairwoman of the North Valley Hospital board. “We are confident that he is the right person to lead North Valley Hospital into the future.”

Abel comes to North Valley Hospital from Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics in Chelan, where he has served as chief executive officer since 2009. There he led a health system consisting of five locations and 284 caregivers with a critical-access hospital, a chemical dependency clinic, a primary care clinic, specialty care clinics, an EMS agency, rehabilitation services and mental health.

Abel’s experience spans health-care finance, quality, facilities, human resources, marketing, contract negotiations, board relations and strategic planning. His leadership philosophy includes fostering an environment of respect and collaboration by developing positive relationships with providers, caregivers and business partners.

“I was very impressed by the team of physicians and staff at North Valley Hospital,” Abel said in a prepared statement. “They have created a genuine, caring environment where patient care comes first.”

Abel will replace Chris Thomas, who was appointed the hospital’s chief executive officer in April. She’s acted as the hospital’s chief operating officer for two years. Thomas replaced Tate Kreitinger, who acted as the hospital’s leader for nearly a year.

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