When Mike Scialdone took the job as CFO of Memorial Health System four years ago, he said the hospital’s community connection was the attraction.

That connection has been at the center of more than two years of debate about the future of the hospital

He weathered the controversial exit of CEO Larry McEvoy and was appointed interim CEO until voters decide whether to lease the hospital to the University of Colorado Health, the parent company of the University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Health Center.

Despite the uncertainty about Memorial, Scialdone says his focus remains unchanged, to ensure the hospital’s financial stability and provide quality care to patients.

What are you focusing on as interim CEO?

Essentially, I am focused on our health system operations. We must ensure that Memorial remains as strong as possible during this time of potential transition. I also believe I have a responsibility to help associates and physicians heal after a prolonged period of uncertainty, and as a result, I am focused on improving communication, synergy and trust with all our key stakeholders. Despite the challenges we have faced, there is great opportunity and reason for optimism.

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What drove you to take the interim position during such a tumultuous time?

I am confident in Memorial’s future and the way forward, and I am proud to be a part of this organization. I took this job because I believed that I could bring operational stability to the organization and help our associates and physicians understand that there is reason to feel optimistic about what is to come.

Since you accepted the job, Memorial has purchased new equipment and formed new partnerships. Will that continue?

Yes. Memorial’s mission is to provide the highest quality health care, and we are going to continue to move forward in ways that will support our mission.

What do you think are the most favorable points in the MHS/UCH lease?

Due to the restrictions imposed by the Fair Campaign Practice Act, I am not at liberty to share my opinion regarding the terms of the lease.

What is the hospital’s biggest challenge during the transition period?

Our biggest challenge is ensuring that our organization remains strong during a time when so much is unknown. We must stay focused on who and what we are — an organization committed to delivering the highest quality care. Recruiting, contracts, projects and other basic business functions are more difficult when there is uncertainty. I am proud to say we have met this challenge so far, thanks in large part to the diligence and dedication of our associates.

Will you stay on at Memorial if the lease is approved by voters?

If Memorial becomes a part of UC Health, it would be up to the new organization to appoint the CEO. I will say that I am proud of this organization and honored to have worked here for the past three and a half years.