New Premier Health board chair talks about future for health system

Kathleen Carlson, Premier Health's new chair of the board of trustees. CONTRIBUTED.

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Kathleen Carlson, Premier Health's new chair of the board of trustees. CONTRIBUTED.

Kathleen Carlson is the new chair of the Premier Health board of trustees.

Carlson, with a background in finance, has been on Premier’s board since 2005. She is moving into the leadership role at the same time that the Dayton-based health system is getting a new CEO, Michael Riordan.

“We’ve got some exciting opportunities, and with the new CEO, we don’t see anything slowing down,” Carlson said.

Carlson said some of the issues that Premier will be navigating when she takes over include the ongoing pandemic, as well as finding solutions for staffing challenges and mitigating burnout.

“Staffing was a challenge irregardless of the pandemic,” Carlson said. “And then the pandemic, and the burden of people coming into the system with COVID symptoms, is placed on our caregivers. We’re constantly looking for ways to mitigate burnout.”

In her early career, Carlson worked as a research analyst and portfolio manager and she was a founding partner of an investment advisory firm, Parker Carlson & Johnson (33 years – served as managing partner for 15 years). She led the initiative to sell the practice to CAPTRUST Financial Advisors in 2015 and retired from CAPTRUST in 2021.

Some of her past volunteer work includes being on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters in 1980s and serving on the board, and later chair of the board, of of the YWCA in the 1990s.

Before the Premier Health board, she was on the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation board in the late 1990s.

She is also stepping into her new role as chair while Premier Health has a series of ongoing development projects, including the high profile redevelopment of the former Good Samaritan site. Premier’s board and the city of Dayton in 2019 pledged a combined $30 million toward future redevelopment of the site and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Kathleen will be carrying that torch forward as well, as Premier continues to remain involved in helping to support and further strengthen that work,” said outgoing chair, Anita Moore.

Moore has been on the Premier Health board from 2010 through 2021, and was board chair from 2016 through 2021.

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Premier Health outgoing chair Anita Moore. CONTRIBUTED

Premier Health outgoing chair Anita Moore. CONTRIBUTED

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Premier Health outgoing chair Anita Moore. CONTRIBUTED

Carlson is becoming chair of the board for one of the region’s largest employers and most influential organizations.

In 2020, Premier had about 13,200 employees and just over $1.9 billion in operating revenue.

The health network operates Atrium Medical Center, Miami Valley Hospital, Miami Valley Hospital North and South, Upper Valley Medical Center and Samaritan Behavioral Health, as well as several nursing and rehabilitation facilities, urgent cares, surgery centers and more.

Moore said one of the highlights of her time on the board includes becoming an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network.

“Years ago I think people thought they had to leave Dayton, Ohio, to go other places to receive the very, very best and state-of-the-art, latest-and-greatest treatments for cancer care. But through a partnership that we initiated with MD Anderson a number of years ago, people can stay right here in Dayton,” Moore said.

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Moore has also previously served as president of the Miami Valley Hospital board. Moore has also been on the boards of County Corp., the Dayton Foundation, and the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board.

Moore had worked as vice president of human resources for The Berry Company where she worked for 25 years. She retired in 2008.

She also had helped launch and lead Dayton Diversity and Inclusion Partners and has participated in leadership positions with Dayton Area Recruiting Alliance, and was a member of the Miami Valley Senior Human Resource Roundtable.

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