Joel Yuhas

UCHealth announced Joel Yuhas will be appointed as president and chief executive officer of UCHealth Memorial Hospital central and Memorial Hospital North, where he will lead a team of more than 3,900 employees and oversee the continuing expansion of services in the Pikes Peak region.

Yuhas, 46, brings 20 years of health care leadership experience to Memorial. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., part of Dignity Health. His background also includes CEO positions within major hospital systems and experience at community and academic hospitals in the United States and abroad. He will begin work at Memorial on Jan. 9.

“It’s an honor to be named president and CEO for two of the leading hospitals in Colorado,” Yuhas said in a news release. “In the four years since Memorial affiliated with UCHealth, the hospitals and clinics have made remarkable strides in advancing health care for patients in the Pikes Peak region. I look to continue building on those successes, ensuring Memorial is the No. 1 hospital for complex surgeries and advanced care in the region.”

In addition to his role as CEO in Long Beach, Yuhas has held leadership positions at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. During his tenure at UPMC, he served as senior vice president of operations for UPMC’s international division, overseeing hospital and cancer center operations in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Italy.

“The knowledge and experience Joel brings will ensure Memorial’s successes will continue well into the future, and his commitment to outstanding patient care will strengthen our connection with the community we serve,” said Elizabeth Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth.

“The impressive growth, quality and successes of Memorial are certainly things that attracted me to this position,” said Yuhas. “And I’m also looking forward to moving to beautiful Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountains. I’m excited to soon call the Pikes Peak region my home.”

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Yuhas replaces George Hayes, who stepped down as Memorial’s CEO earlier this month. Hayes joined Memorial as president and CEO in 2014 after spending 10 years at the helm of Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, another UCHealth hospital. Under Hayes’ leadership, Memorial experienced a dramatic turnaround in quality, safety, patient experience and finance. It is now ranked among the top eight hospitals in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report.

“I am excited to join UCHealth and Memorial and work with our talented physicians and staff in Colorado Springs,” Yuhas said.  “I am proud to be a part of a hospital and system so dedicated to quality, patient service and bringing world-class care close to home.”