UC Health appoints Rick Hinds as interim CEO after CEO Lofgren takes new Oklahoma job
A familiar face will soon lead UC Health, the region’s sixth-largest employer.
UC Health Chief Financial Officer Rick Hinds, a lifelong Cincinnati with numerous leadership roles in the Cincinnati health care community on his resume, will become interim CEO as his boss Richard Lofgren lands in Oklahoma City in mid-March to become the new leader of a reorganized health system charged with fixing that state’s health disparities.
Oklahoma ranks first in the nation in heart disease, second in pulmonary disease and fourth in diabetes, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lofgren’s new position was created as part of the merger last July between the University of Oklahoma and University Hospitals Authority that created OU Health.
Lofgren became president and CEO in December 2013 after more than 30 years in academic healthcare, including leadership roles at University Health Systems Consortium, University of Kentucky, Medical College of Wisconsin and University of Pittsburgh.
He was the only physician to serve as president of a health system in Greater Cincinnati throughout his tenure in Ohio.
During his time at UC Health, the organization saw growth and achievements, including:
- Revenue growth from $1.2 billion in 2013 to $2.2 billion presently;
- Expanded specialty services like starting an advanced therapeutic and heart transplant program, opening a proton therapy facility in a joint venture with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, creating a new department of neurosurgery, and the expansion of the bone marrow transplant program. Additionally, services were expanded at West Chester Hospital, including the opening of a Labor & Delivery unit, the Level III Trauma Center, and elective surgical programs such as bariatric surgery and the elective joint replacement program.
- The launch and advancement of a systemwide cultural transformation. This work has resulted in the improvement of patient safety scores, which moved from the bottom decile in 2013 to the top quartile currently among academic medical centers across the country as measured by the UHC/Vizient database.
- In 2019, the new UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute building opened its doors to the public, improving access to subspecialty care for patients suffering from neurological issues. This was the first new building on the medical campus in 30 years. Later that year, UC Health announced a $221M investment in the Clifton campus, the largest investment in the organization’s history, marking a new chapter of serving the community and transforming the physical buildings to reflect the world class care already provided within them.
- In 2020 he was appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as one of three zone leaders in Ohio, leading our regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This leadership included the implementation of early community testing, introduction of the first vaccines in our area, participation in more than 100 COVID-related clinical trials, and serving as a spokesperson both locally and nationally. He also served on the RESTART committee through the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
“I have always been guided by my interest and passion in improving healthcare systems to advance access to care,” said Lofgren. “This is an exciting opportunity to use my knowledge and experience to serve as the inaugural leader of OU Health – a capstone, if you will, to my career”.
Hinds, a 1982 UC graduate, has been executive vice president and chief financial officer for UC Health since its inception in 2010. He served as the interim chief executive officer for UC Health’s predecessor company, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, in 2009. Prior to these roles, he was vice president of finance for UC Medical Center from 2005 to 2008. Hinds was vice president of finance and operations for Fort Hamilton Hospital from 1995 to 2005. He also served as president and CEO of the Fort Hamilton Healthcare Corp. from 2004 to 2006, and its CFO from 1998 to 2006. He spent ten years in the health insurance industry prior to moving to the healthcare industry in 1995.