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Former CEO Davila returns next month to Desert View Hospital

With the sale of Desert View Hospital to Universal Health Services, Inc., made official Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Adams was replaced as the purchase finalized.

Former Desert View CEO Susan Davila will retake the position she left in September. 2010, while administrator Jessica Hensler will handle the duties until then, Universal Health spokesperson Gretchen Perez said. Davila left Desert View for Carson Valley Medical Center where she was CEO until Jan. 31 of this year.

Hensler will essentially prepare the team at Desert View for Davila’s arrival next month.

“I’ll be the interim administrator and what I’ll be doing is meeting with the staff and helping them through this transition,” Hensler said. “I’ll be making sure everyone feels that they have the support they need, and I actually talked to the incoming CEO and I’m kind of leading the team to her and get it ready for her.”

Hensler, who is the associate administrator for Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, said there will be no more changes administratively at Desert View and the community board.

“As far as I know, yes, (they will keep the community board) and actually our Valley Health System leaders have already met with that board,” she said.

Universal Health Services owns six medical centers in Las Vegas under the Valley Health System – Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center, Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, Valley Hospital Medical Center, with the Henderson Hospital opening in the fall.

Although she’s only been out in Pahrump for three days, Hensler said she is impressed with the close-knit feel of the staff at Desert View.

“This is such a great hospital, the people are amazing… They have made me feel like completely a part of the team and it’s really family-oriented,” she said.

Outgoing CEO Adams, who started at the hospital in 2012, is happy with his time at DVH and is exiting with a sense of pride with the changes he’s led.

“I’ve operated hospitals for 36 years and my four years at Desert View Hospital has been at the top of the list,” Adams said. “The community, the employees, the medical staff and the board have all been so wonderful, so gracious, so helpful. They’ve been so willing to improve the health care delivery system in Pahrump.

“Everybody participated and we had a lot of success because of that participation.”

If he had to single out a single accomplishment during his tenure at Desert View as his cap-stone moment, Adams said providing services that allowed residents to stay in the area rather than travel over the hump was up there.

“There were so many things that we were able to accomplish, I think bringing in new physicians, slowing down the rate of out-migration of patients to Las Vegas,” he said. “Developing more services to the hospital within the community where the patients could stay at home rather than go to Las Vegas for their health care.”

Showing that care did improve during his time, Adams said that the number of ER visits rose from about 13,000 up to around 18,000 a year. The number of surgeries went up by nearly 150 percent, the average daily census went from about seven patients a day to being almost full at 25 every day.

Also, Adams said all the outpatient services, like labs, imaging, respiratory therapy and physical therapy also saw dramatic increases during his time at the hospital.

“I give credit to the department managers for their insight and seeing the vision that I had for the community. It worked really well.”

Adams spearheaded a number of additions to the hospital, including adding new ER physicians, a new radiology group, a new hospitalist group, recruited primary care physicians, added a new surgeon and added a Mercy Air station at the hospital.

“Those things really made a difference,” Adams said.

Adams wasn’t surprised by Universal Health Services’ decision to bring in a new CEO, as he said it is part of the business.

“I think whenever there’s a change in ownership in a hospital, you have to anticipate that the new organization will want to run the hospital the way they want it,” he said. “They want their people, who are familiar with their systems, and so I had to anticipate that it would be the case.”

Adams said he will look for another hospital in the western region that was like Desert View when he took over, that needs a turnaround.

“We’re looking all in the western states for those types of opportunities and that’s what we’re seeking to do,” he said.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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