Hospital-group CEO leaves legacy as one of most persuasive interest-group leaders in Colorado

When it comes to assessing Steven Summer’s tenure as president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association, the best news industry leaders can point to is a lack of news in one particular area — namely, Colorado was the only state in the Rocky Mountain West in which no rural hospitals closed over the past 10 years.

Summer will step down as head of the CHA on Dec. 31, leaving to become president of the Healthcare Institute, a national organization that brings together leaders from 35 of the country’s largest health systems to discuss outcomes and potential improvements. When he does, he will leave behind a legacy as one of the most persuasive and effective interest-group leaders the Colorado Legislature has dealt with since his tenure began in 2006, a man who sought dialogue and compromise and, in doing so, crafted policies that have increased the financial health of the state’s acute-care facilities and steered them clear of some of the heavy regulation hospitals have encountered elsewhere.

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