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Permanent Administrator to Start at St. Vincent Health

SVGHD Board Chooses Top Leader Bringing Interim Status to a Close

 LEADVILLE COLO (July 3, 2023) Andrew (Andy) Dreesen, BSW, MPA, CPHQ has accepted the position of the permanent administrator at St. Vincent General Hospital District (SVGHD) and St. Vincent Health (SVH). He will begin his role by September 1, 2023.

As an employee of Cypress Healthcare, LLC, the hospital’s management company, Dreesen will take over for Interim CEO John Gardner who came out of retirement to guide the District in August 2022. Gardner will remain engaged for a period of time to offer Andy a thorough and smooth transition.

Dreesen, his wife, and two young children currently reside in Deer Lodge, Montana where Andy serves as the Chief Administrative Officer at Deer Lodge Medical Center, a critical access hospital. He has extensive knowledge of hospital operations with notable strengths in oversight of clinical departments, quality improvement, and finance and revenue cycle.

The Dreesen family is anxious to become active in the Lake County community while they build relationships with citizens and local organizations. Dreesen was raised in a small town in northeast Nebraska. He and his wife Amy are excited about relocating to Lake County and the quality of life that high-mountain living will bring their family.

SVGHD will host a “meet and greet” opportunity for community members to meet Andy in the near future. More information on that will be communicated once a date is set.



“I feel as an organization, we can always take that extra step to help someone. St. Vincent Health is an integral part of the community and has the tools necessary to provide excellent patient care. A leader’s role is to provide direction and planning. By working with the dedicated staff and Board of Directors, together we will continue the legacy of quality care while creating financial stability for St. Vincent Health.”
– Andy Dreesen, incoming SVH Administrator

“The SVGHD Board is tremendously grateful to John Gardner for stepping in to help the District during the past year. His contribution has been immeasurable. We rest assured that John will always be a friend of St. Vincent’s. He has created a path for Andy to move forward successfully and begin the next phase of leadership of St. Vincent Health.”
– Francine Webber, SVGHD Board Chair

“It has been my privilege to put retirement on hold. Rural hospitals are struggling everywhere, I wish we could save them all. I am proud of the work we have done together to put SVH on stronger ground. We still have a way to go, and I am confident that Andy Dreesen can take us to the next level. Leadville and St. Vincent are in my blood now, I look forward to learning of the future success of the hospital.”
– John Gardner

About St. Vincent Health

The St. Vincent General Hospital District encompasses approximately 400 square miles in Lake County, Colorado. St. Vincent has been serving the citizens of Leadville, Twin Lakes and Lake County since 1879. It has supported the community through boom and bust cycles of mining and tourism. Today services at St. Vincent include: Acute Care, E.R., Primary Care, Lab, Imaging, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy, Specialty Clinics, Ambulance Services (county 911 response), Wound Care and General Surgery.

After successful operations which led to the opening of a new hospital building in 2021, St. Vincent General Hospital District (SVGHD)­ DBA St. Vincent Health (SVH) ­is now fixing the financial short comings of recent years which came to light in the later part of 2022.

Interim CEO John Gardner was hired in August 2022 and CFO Kelly Johnston came on board in September. During the winter of 2022/2023 St. Vincent Health reduced costs by cutting spending and implementing efficiencies in staffing. Some positions were dissolved; whenever a position opened or was vacated tasks were reassigned to other appropriate positions. New service lines were evaluated and several of them discontinued. Additionally Cypress Healthcare, LLC was hired as the hospital’s management company and The Revenue Cyclist was brought on to repair former revenue cycle practices that were the main cause of the financial troubles.

The SVGHD Board and leadership anticipate the financial turnaround will take 2 to 3 years. In the meantime SVH continues to care for the people of Lake County, Colorado with compassion and excellence.