This week, Andy Barton was named interim president and chief development officer of Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation.

The job opportunity opened when the former president made a retirement announcement last weekend.

It was a growing desire to create positive change that led Barton, a 35-year-old Springs native, to start working for the foundation in 2010.

Now he’s a candidate for the permanent top job with the organization that helps the hospital in its quest to remain at the health forefront with the latest lifesaving technology.

How and when did you become involved with the Penrose-St. Francis Foundation? What led you to want to serve as interim director?

I started with the Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation in October 2010. I was attracted to Penrose-St. Francis because of the role I saw the organization playing in keeping the community healthy. At a time when health care was at the center of national attention, I felt like working for the hospital’s foundation presented an opportunity to make a positive impact. It is exciting to be a part of this hospital system. We have leadership, and physicians who are committed to providing the best healthcare possible to everyone in our community. It is very easy to ask for donor support when you know it is supporting such an important mission.

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It was an honor to be named interim president and chief development officer. The foundation has a great team in place and an amazing board of trustees, both of which make the job great. I am excited about the opportunities for us to continue building on the success of the foundation’s past leadership. As Penrose-St. Francis continues its pursuit toward providing world class health care here in Colorado Springs, we at the foundation have the chance to do big things. I enjoy being in the midst of that work.

What are some of the jobs you’ve held previously?

I worked for the YMCA here in Colorado Springs from 2001 until joining the foundation. I was a childcare director until 2003 when I got the opportunity to work as the executive director of the Tri-Lakes YMCA in Monument. From 2003 until 2010, I had the fortune of working with some incredible volunteers and staff to build the Tri-Lakes YMCA Family Center. It was an unforgettable experience. In the YMCA and Penrose-St. Francis, I have been fortunate to work with two of the community’s best-run organizations with two highly regarded CEOs, Merv Bennett and Margaret Sabin. I have been lucky.

You’re a native of Colorado Springs. Why have you chosen to stay here?

I grew up looking at that mountain every day for 18 years and I just couldn’t stay away. I went to college in Boulder and lived in New Mexico for a while, but I always planned on returning. Colorado Springs is a great city. I think it has become an even stronger community with a more vibrant culture since I was growing up. It is a wonderful place to raise a family and nowhere else can match the climate and beauty.

If you could change one thing about Colorado Springs, what would it be?

I want Colorado Springs to have the best: best schools, safest neighborhoods, healthiest citizens, etc. And I think we are moving in the right direction. We have a beautifully eclectic community composition, with so many important stakeholders, from the military to the arts and everything in between. But so often, we have found ourselves in polarizing situations. I am most proud of Colorado Springs during the times when our differences become our strengths — like the response to the Waldo Canyon fire. The change I hope for is that we collectively live up to our potential as one of the greatest cities in the world.

When you’re not at work, one is likely to find you …

With my wife and three children, preferably in the mountains around water (snow works). We are also surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family and we have great friends. We love spending time with all of them.