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Incoming Bartlett CEO says she's ready to get to work

Posted: July 5, 2012 - 12:07am

Christine Harff, the incoming chief executive officer of Bartlett Regional Hospital, said Tuesday that she is looking forward to moving up to Juneau and starting her new job.

“I am incredibly excited,” Harff said of her impending move. “I have lived in the Pacific Northwest before, and it’s just beautiful. It will be fun, I think.”

The CEO of Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, Minn., Harff also has experience as a nurse, including work experience in Seattle.

Harff said she benefits from experience from having worked as a nurse all the way up to a supervisor, department manager and hospital CEO.

“The common denominator for all of us is we’re there to provide care,” said Harff.

Bob Storer, president of Bartlett’s board of directors, said the board is “so excited” to be bringing Harff on board.

“The whole board is completely behind the decision,” Storer said.

Storer said Harff had several qualifications that stood out during the candidate selection process.

“The fact that she’d been a nurse and came from the clinical side was very important,” said Storer. “If you look at her education, it includes a (Master of Business Administration) and a (Juris Doctor), so she’s incredibly well-educated in issues that really matter to health care. We felt her personality and communication skills were also very good.”

Harff said she expects to arrive Aug. 15. She said she is looking forward to tackling Bartlett’s challenges.

“I think every place is very unique, so I don’t like to make a judgment,” Harff said. “But I think the constant issue is, how are we going to do this smarter and wiser with less resources?”

Unlike previous permanent CEO Shawn Morrow, Harff will be an employee of the City and Borough of Juneau. Morrow left Bartlett in January as part of the hospital’s switchover from having its CEO and chief financial officer be employees of management firm Quorum Health Resources to be directly hired by Bartlett’s board of directors.

“The reason is simple: accountability,” Storer said. “We want the CEO and CFO accountable to the board and not a corporation.”

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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