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New CEO of Renown Health, Dr. Brian Erling, Shares Thoughts With Physicians And Colleagues on His First Day

November 14, 2022

Renown CEO with Renown logo

Get to know Renown’s new CEO in his letter to employees and care providers.

Today marks Dr. Brian Erling’s first day as Renown Health’s President & CEO. Dr. Erling sent the following letter and this video to Renown’s employees and care providers. We are pleased to share it with our community.

Hello! Today marks my first day as your Renown Health President and CEO, so I thought I would kick off the occasion with a note. Throughout the interview process, I have been beyond impressed with the passion and purpose demonstrated by all who I have met, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the warm welcome that we have received. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you, but it may take some time to get to all 7000 of you, so I thought I would share some information not included in the initial announcement. A bit about where I come from and what I believe, which informs how I approach leadership.

Healthcare has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Minnesota and started my healthcare career as a nursing assistant during high school, and then as a monitor tech during college. After medical school and training, I went on to spend the next dozen years in the ED of a Level I trauma center in west Denver.

I met my wife, Jessica, while attending medical school in Baltimore. She was working as a nurse in the surgical ICU and I was smitten. I offered to help her with a 3 am turn and bed linen change for our trauma patient, and the rest was history. We have three kids ages 17-22. I may wear a suit, but first and foremost I am a husband, father, clinician and a caregiver.

Over the last 20+ years, I have worked my fair share of nights, weekends, and holidays, and I know the sacrifice you and your families make to care for our community. I will never take it for granted.

I have been the sole provider covering a busy night shift, and I know that the trust and collaboration with your immediate team matters more than anything I am putting in this email. In fact, being part of a high performing, mission-driven team is my number one motivation. It’s what gets me up in the morning and why I work in healthcare.

I have provided clinical leadership for a large, regional health system and understand that quality, safety, and innovation comes from the people doing the work, not from a corporate office. But you also need strong managers and leaders to facilitate and prioritize the work, and to provide support and inspiration.

I view our greatest resource to be our people (each of you). Fancy robots, imaging equipment, etc. are essential, but they are not why our patients choose us. They come for your brand of hometown, trusted care.

I am very excited about the new partnership with Renown and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. While still in its infancy, it provides the platform for us to be the center for training, research, and tertiary care for the region (and beyond).

Most health systems would love to have their own health plan. The reality is that you cannot meaningfully improve the health of the population without managing value and risk. We are fortunate to have Hometown Health as part of Renown Health, and in our community, and I am excited to work with them to fulfill the mission of the organization.

I have worked in for-profit and not-for profit healthcare. Renown is unique in the market as the only nonprofit health system in the market. What that means is that we invest every penny earned back into caring for our community. We don’t send money to shareholders in California or Pennsylvania, we invest it right here in Nevada. That is the kind of organization that I want to work for and where I want my family to get care.

Some of you may have noticed that healthcare leaders have an impressively short half-life. I recall not being terribly impressed with one of our hospital leaders early in my career, and one of my senior partners told me to “just wait, he’ll be gone in a year or two.” She was correct. In fact, I had five CEOs in the time I was practicing in Denver. It’s difficult to create and move an organization toward a unified vision when your leader changes every few years. As my track record will support, this is not my style. I have been in Colorado for over twenty years and now look forward to making Reno and Renown my home for years to come.

We are in an unprecedented time in healthcare, as all U.S. health systems are experiencing skyrocketing expenses and insufficient revenue growth. Renown is not immune to these pressures, but we are well positioned in the market to weather the storm. By focusing on continuous clinical and operational improvement, Renown will continue to set the gold standard for community health system performance.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this message. I look forward to meeting with and learning from all of you. When you see me in the hallway or out and about, please come up and say hello.

The work we do is hard, but I try to make it fun when I can, and I definitely like to play hard outside of work. I have been snowboarding the Rockies for the last 20 years and am excited to ride some new trails. When I see you around, let me know if you have some favorite terrain to recommend.

Here, at your side, and ready to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!

Brian Erling, MD, MBA

President & CEO, Renown Health

About Renown Health

Renown Health is Nevada’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®.

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