Aurora chief operating officer named CEO of Kentucky-based Baptist Health

Gerard Colman has been with Aurora since 2014

Aurora Health Care chief operating officer Gerard Colman is leaving the Milwaukee-based health care system to become chief executive officer of Louisville, Kentucky-based Baptist Healthcare System Inc.

Baptist Health announced that Colman will take the helm of the organization on Dec. 4. Baptist Health has 25,000 employees and operates eight hospitals, including seven in Kentucky and one in southern Indiana.

Ger Colman

Colman, 47, joined Aurora as COO in 2014. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and chief of clinical operations for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

He has worked in the health care industry for 25 years in the areas of operations, finance, information technology and physician engagement, according to a Baptist Health news release.

“Ger Colman has been preparing to take the reins as a CEO for his entire career – cultivating a wide range of skills necessary to oversee Baptist Health, Kentucky’s largest not-for-profit health care provider,” said Allen Rudd, chairman of the Baptist Health board of directors, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have found someone with his breadth and depth of experience with not-for-profit and faith-based organizations.

Colman was selected after a nationwide search, following the departure of former Baptist Health CEO Steve Hanson in March.

“I look forward to working with our Baptist Health presidents, their respective boards, employees and physicians,” Colman said in a statement. “For nearly 100 years, Baptist Health has served its communities well, supported by its faith-based heritage. Baptist Health, as a market leader in Kentucky and southern Indiana, is well positioned for continued success in adapting to the changing health care environment.”

Colman holds a doctorate in health care management from the University of Texas School of Public Health and began his health care career in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman. He also served in senior clinical and financial management positions for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, N.J., and director of patient financial services at Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, N.J.

Dennis Potts, executive vice president of Aurora Health Care’s south region, will serve as COO in the interim, said Mike Brophy, chief communications officer.

“We appreciate (Colman’s) many contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Brophy said. “We have a strong leadership team in place that will continue to guide the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care.”

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