Leadership

From our staff to our leadership, we are proud of our tradition and our reputation at Denver Health. We have been caring for the people of Denver and the Rocky Mountain Region since we were established in 1860. Our leaders are committed to making sure our patients get the best quality care, safety and service with each visit, from our expert, caring staff. Denver Health cares for all people. We are committed to providing the best care for every person – mind, body and spirit. We welcome you to learn more about us and hope that you will select Denver Health as your partner in health management.

Robin D. Wittenstein, Ed.D., FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

Robin D. Wittenstein joined Denver Health in 2017 with more than 35 years of experience in the health care industry, serving communities through a variety of leadership roles in various settings, including an academic medical center and safety net hospital.

Prior to leading Denver Health, Wittenstein was Chief Population Health Officer (CPHO) at Penn State Health, where she oversaw the health care system’s network of clinics and academic affiliate hospitals across central Pennsylvania. She was Penn State Health’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) for five years prior to the CPHO appointment. Before that, Wittenstein was the president and CEO of University Hospital and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey, where she was responsible for strategic direction, operation and financial management and quality performance for the 519-bed medical center.

She held various roles within the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJHS), including Vice President for Continuing Care, Vice President and COO of the NSLIJHS Research Institute and COO of Staten Island University Hospital. Wittenstein also spent five years working with Tenet South Florida Health Systems.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in health planning and administration from Penn State, her MBA in health administration from the University of Miami and a doctorate of education from George Washington University. Wittenstein has served on numerous hospital alliance, health care and research foundation coalition boards, and chairs an interest committee of biomedical research in New York.

Kris Gaw
Chief Operating Officer

Kris Gaw joins Denver Health as its new Chief Operating Officer. 

 

Previously, Kris Gaw joined Valleywise Health in March 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. Valleywise Health is Arizona’s only public health care system and Maricopa County’s largest training center of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals. Valleywise Health includes the Roosevelt Campus-Hospital, the Arizona Burn Center, the Arizona Children’s Center, a Level I Trauma Center, three behavioral health centers and a network of 13 neighborhood clinics that serve the entire county.

Prior to joining Valleywise Health, Ms. Gaw served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer – Hospital Operations for Parkland Hospital and Health System in Dallas, Texas, one of the largest public health systems in the country. At Parkland, Ms. Gaw was responsible for overseeing daily hospital operations as well as system wide ancillary and support services. She served as Executive Lead for the successful movement of 626 patients from old Parkland into their new state of the art 2.1 million square foot facility.

From 2008 to 2014, Ms. Gaw served as Chief Operating Officer at Renown Regional Medical Center, an 808-bed tertiary care facility and Level II Trauma Center in Reno, Nevada, that provides services that span over an 80,000 square mile radius from Sacramento to Salt Lake City. Renown Regional is home to the area’s only Children’s Hospital, with the region’s only children’s emergency room. From 2002 to 2008, Ms. Gaw was Vice President of Human Resources at Renown Health, northern Nevada’s largest integrated health network, with more than 6,000 employees. From 1995 to 2001, Ms. Gaw was Director of Customer Service for Hometown Health, the insurance division of Renown Health.

Gaw received both a Bachelor’s and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives and is a certified lean professional.

She also is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter who is a recent nursing school graduate.

Rob Borland
Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer

Rob Borland is a seasoned marketing and public relations executive with successes in various industries including gaming, breweries and sporting. Most recently, Rob served as chief marketing officer at USA Pro Cycling and prior to that he was chief marketing officer at Molson Coors International. Rob brings extensive experience in growing businesses and building brands in the United States and abroad, in locations such as Japan and the United Kingdom.

Rob oversees Denver Health marketing and public relations which includes media and public relations, external marketing and communications, internal communications and digital marketing.

Kathy Boyle, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Officer

Dr. Kathy Boyle joined Denver Health in January 2009 and is an Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty Appointment for the University of Colorado, College of Nursing. Dr. Boyle is the Chair of the Vizient Academic Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Network. Her clinical practice includes geriatrics, inpatient behavioral health, high-risk labor and delivery and maternal transport. She has developed an expertise in leadership through her 20 plus years in nursing leadership practice.

She has coordinated clinical planning for an academic replacement hospital and championed the system-wide expansion of patient- and family-centered care, as well as conducted studies of followership in nursing, and nurse-physician collaborative communication and safety climate. She was co-investigator for the following studies: Evaluation of Standardized Color-coded Nurse Uniforms on Patient, Family, and Staff Perceptions: A Patient and Family Centered Care Initiative and Bacterial Contamination of Healthcare Worker Uniforms: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Antimicrobial Scrubs.

Bill Burman, MD
Director of Denver Public Health

Dr. Bill Burman is a Professor of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He joined Denver Public Health as an infectious disease physician in 1995 and directed its HIV treatment and research activities. Since 2011, Dr. Burman has led Denver Public Health, focusing on assessing health and building broad-based partnerships to improve the health of Denver’s community. Dr. Burman was the interim chief executive officer at Denver Health for nine months, from 2016-17.

Dr. Burman chairs the executive committee of the Mile High Health Alliance, a nonprofit that coordinates activities of medical, behavioral and social service providers in Denver. He also helped found the Metro Denver Partnership for Health, a group led by public health agencies serving the seven-county Denver metropolitan region.

Richard Dart, MD
Director of Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety

Dr. Richard Dart specializes in emergency medicine and toxicology and is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and American Board of Medical Toxicology. Since 1992, Dr. Dart has served as Director of Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety. He is the Executive Director of Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance System.

He has published more than 250 papers and chapters, as well as served as editor for the book, The 5-Minute Toxicology Consult and the third edition of Medical Toxicology. In 2002, Dr. Dart was recognized with a special citation from the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and named the 2004 recipient of the Matthew J. Ellenhorn Award for Excellence in Medical Toxicology from the American College of Medical Toxicology. He also serves as a Deputy Editor of the medical journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and is the past president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Wade Ebersole, MHA., FACHE
Chief Administration Officer

Wade Ebersole joined Denver Health in 2015 and has served in a number of roles, including the Interim Chief Operating Officer, Associate Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Support Services. As CAO, Ebersole partners extensively with key business leaders to ensure high-quality services are delivered to our key stakeholders. Prior to joining Denver Health, he served as the Assistant Medical Center Director of the VA San Diego Healthcare System where he had multi-departmental oversight for various business lines and key operations. He earned a Master of Health Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health and a BA in Business Administration from Goshen College.

Linda Ford
Executive Director of the Denver Health Foundation

Linda Ford has more than 30 years' experience in fundraising and leadership at medical centers in Colorado and across the nation. She comes to Denver Health from her role as CEO of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, a community health care system in California, where she has been responsible for all fundraising and development efforts. Prior to this role she successfully led organizations in raising millions of dollars in philanthropic donations. She has worked in a range of different health care organizations, including safety-net hospitals and academic medical centers. Significantly, Ford developed and led the $250M campaign to relocate the University of Colorado Hospital (now Anschutz Medical Campus) to the former Fitzsimmons Army Base. She led the team that successfully solicited a $25M gift from The Anschutz Foundation, the largest gift in Colorado history at the time, and increased University of Colorado Hospitals philanthropic efforts from $200,000 to $52M in five years.

In addition to success in fundraising, Ford has led a number of strategic development initiatives for the organizations in which she has served. She led and oversaw the acclaimed Indigenous Interpreting II+, a service of Natividad Medical Foundation, specializing in training indigenous native speakers from Mexico and Central America to serve patients and the community.

Ford gained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Syracuse University, New York, and received a Master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Catharine Fortney
Chief Compliance and Audit Officer

Catharine Fortney has more than 12 years of experience in health care compliance and audit, and is a Certified Healthcare Compliance professional with extensive experience in building, implementing, maintaining and enhancing compliance and internal audit programs at numerous health care organizations. She is an expert in assessing compliance risks and prioritizing how organizations should focus their resources to address high-risk matters.

Fortney earned her undergraduate degree from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and her master’s in Science in Health Administration from the University of Colorado. Her current role at Denver Health includes the compliance and internal audit functions for the organization.

Michelle Fournier Johnson
Chief Human Resource Officer

Michelle Fournier Johnson joined Denver Health in 2017. She has worked in human resources (HR) for 27 years and spent the last 10 years in the health care industry. Michelle is passionate about developing leaders and driving positive change in health care to better serve patients.

Before joining Denver Health, Michelle served as the Group Vice President, Human Resources, at Centura Health and had responsibility for six of the system’s 17 hospitals. Prior to her role with Centura, Michelle was the Vice President of Human Resources at Fresenius Medical Care and was responsible for the medical services division in the western region. Her prior experience includes roles with AutoNation, Coors Distributing Company, Pepsico and Xerox Corporation.

Michelle received her bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology and employment relations and a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Michigan State University.

Amy Friedman
Chief Experience Officer

Amy Friedman joined Denver Health in 2008 and was promoted to Chief Experience Officer in 2014. In her role, she supports improving the patient and family experience in the inpatient and ambulatory setting. During her time at Denver Health, Friedman has introduced a variety of customer service initiatives involving service recovery, employee recognition, and innovative patient and family services such as pet therapy, music therapy, on demand transportation services and No One Dies Alone. Friedman has extensive customer service work experience in the private and public sectors, including serving on the governor’s staff. She has an undergraduate degree from Colorado College and a master's degree from George Washington University.

Simon Hambidge, MD, PhD
Chief Ambulatory Care Officer
Chief Executive Officer, Denver Community Health Services

Dr. Simon Hambidge is a trained pediatrician and was previously the Director of General Pediatrics for Community Health Services for eight years. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University School of Medicine in Aurora, and has practiced at Denver Health since 1997. As Denver Community Health Services Director, Dr. Hambidge oversees a network of nine community health centers and 18 school-based health centers, which provide health care to more than 150,000 patients, approximately one-fourth of the population of Denver. Dr. Hambidge continues to provide clinical care in the Webb Center for Primary Care’s Webb Pediatrics. He has published numerous articles on topics such as vaccine safety and pediatric obesity. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Denver Health Medical Plan, the Colorado Community Health Network, the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States, the Northeast Denver Initiative and Reach Out and Read Colorado.

Romana Hasnain-Wynia, MS, Ph.D.
Chief Research Officer

Dr. Romana Hasnain-Wynia oversees Denver Health’s research and sponsored programs through the Office of Research, which works to develop new and improved ways to provide the highest quality care to Denver Health’s diverse patient population, and to be a model of research excellence among academic safety net institutions. Prior to this role, Dr. Hasnain-Wynia served as the Director of the Addressing Disparities Program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), where she set strategic direction for funding and disseminating patient-centered comparative effectiveness research that focused on reducing disparities and advancing equity in health and health care.

Dr. Hasnain-Wynia also has worked in academic medicine as director at the Center for Healthcare Equity and Associate Professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. While at Northwestern, she served as the Associate Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded T-32 post-doctoral training program in Health Services and Outcomes Research. She spent more than a decade at the Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association, serving as the Vice President for Research. She now serves on expert panels for the Joint Commission, Brookings Institution, National Quality Forum, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AHRQ and National Academies of Science. Hasnain-Wynia is also on the Health Affairs and Health Services Research editorial boards.

Scott Hoye, JD
General Counsel

Scott Hoye began his career at Denver Health in 1998 as Assistant General Counsel with a focus on construction contracts, managed care and general health law. Hoye has an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a law degree from Creighton University. Prior to Denver Health, Hoye served in the U.S. Army as a military attorney and afterward joined a private practice. He served as Interim General Counsel from April 2012, until his appointment as General Counsel in 2013. Hoye oversees the Legal and Risk Management departments at Denver Health and serves as Secretary to the Denver Health and Hospital Authority Board of Directors.

Thomas MacKenzie, MD, MSPH
Chief Quality Officer

Dr. Thomas MacKenzie is a practicing internal medicine physician and has been the Chief Quality Officer for Denver Health since 2008. In this role, he has orchestrated improvements in clinical quality and patient safety using a variety of techniques across an integrated delivery system. Prior to his appointment, he was the Director of Internal Medicine at Denver Health and managed operations at five ambulatory clinics that saw nearly 100,000 visits per year. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. From 2008-13, he served on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guideline panel for hypertension (appointed as JNC 8), and as a part of the NHLBI implementation sciences work group.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Colorado College and his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine and preventive medicine residencies, as well as his masters of science in public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His research interests include health system learning, evidence-based guideline development and implementation, chronic disease management health communications.

Greg McCarthy
Chief Executive Officer of Denver Health Medical Plan

Greg McCarthy joined Denver Health Medical Plan in 2017, bringing a broad spectrum of health plan experience. McCarthy’s career has encompassed large group plans and individual health plans as well as government products. Before joining Denver Health he spent 13 years at Martin’s Point Health Care in Portland, Maine, filling a number of high-level leadership roles, culminating with Senior VP Health Plan Operations. He also served as Vice President of Operations for Community Health Options in Lewiston, Maine.

McCarthy earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Management from the University of Maine and his master’s degree from DePaul University’s Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS
Chief Education Officer

Dr. Abraham M. Nussbaum provides strategic vision, daily direction and administrative oversight for Denver Health’s health professional education programs, which educate more than 2,000 learners annually. He is the Denver Health Designated Institutional Officer for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Dr. Nussbaum previously directed Denver Health’s adult inpatient psychiatry units, which care for adults throughout Colorado experiencing mental health crises.

A Colorado native, Dr. Nussbaum studied literature and religion at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and completed medical school and his psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina. He has authored 26 peer-reviewed articles and six book chapters. As an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, he developed an award-winning curriculum for interviewing patients, which evolved into the best-selling Pocket Guide to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam, which has been translated into thirteen languages. Along with national leaders in child and geriatric psychiatry, he subsequently published textbooks for the care of children and older adults with mental illness. His most recent book is a memoir entitled The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician's Search for the Renewal of Medicine, in which The New York Times wrote that no physician “in recent memory has wielded a set of intellectual and writing tools to such dazzling and instructive effect.”

Connie Savor Price, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Connie Savor Price is a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School Of Medicine. Prior to her current role, she served as the Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Denver Health for 13 years. Dr. Price is board certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases and medical microbiology. Her research and clinical interests have been focused in health care epidemiology and methods to prevent and rapidly detect emerging and antimicrobial resistant infections.

Dr. Price has a track record of successfully securing federal funding as a Principal Investigator from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She has published and lectured extensively on the prevention of health care-associated infectious diseases and other related topics. She is active in the Infectious Diseases Society of America, served in an elected position on the Board of Directors of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America and chaired the American Society for Microbiology section on health care epidemiology. She is a recognized expert in outbreak management, serving as the Medical Director Denver Health's Regional Ebola and Special Pathogens Treatment Center, and has been a consultant to public health authorities on control of emerging infections around the world.