The HealthCenter CEO Steps Down

Tate Kreitinger told KRH executives on Jan. 17 that he is leaving after 15 years

By Justin Franz
Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Beacon File Photo

The chief executive officer of The HealthCenter, part of the Kalispell Regional Healthcare system, is stepping down.

On Jan. 17, KRH President and CEO Craig Lambrecht announced to staff that Tate Kreitinger was leaving the organization after 15 years. Kreitinger headed up The HealthCenter, a major acute-care facility under the KRH umbrella. KRH and the Flathead Physician Group had jointly owned The HealthCenter since it opened in 2003 but recently reached an agreement for KRH to take over full ownership.

The HealthCenter’s clinics and departments include The Digestive Health Institute of Montana, The Montana Center for Wellness and Pain Management, Northwest Women’s Health Care, Glacier View Plastic Surgery, The Surgery Center, The Imaging Center and The Women’s Center.

In an email to staff, Lambrecht wrote that Kreitinger informed him on Friday morning that he was leaving the hospital to “pursue new opportunities.”

“Tate’s commitment to HealthCenter was obvious to all who knew him,” Lambrecht wrote. “Tate has been the face of HealthCenter for over 15 years and he worked tirelessly alongside physician leaders and Administration to bring the HealthCenter purchase to a successful conclusion.”

According to the email, Ty Weber, director of imaging services, and Heidi Sturm, executive director of nursing, will assume Kreitinger’s duties at The HealthCenter and report directly to Lambrecht. It is unclear when Kreitinger will officially leave the hospital but officials have vowed a “smooth transition.”

In a statement included in Lambrecht’s staff email, Kreitinger praised KRH for his tenure at The HealthCenter.

“As I look back over the last 15 years, it is the people and the relationships that made the biggest impact for me,” Kreitinger said. “I have learned from all of you and we have accomplished a lot. I have decided to look at other opportunities within and outside of health care and am excited to begin the next transition in my career. I am excited for the future of KRH and know that the leadership talent in the organization will continue to do great things. Thank you for the opportunity to work with all of you.”

Kreitinger also previously served as KRH’s compliance officer as required in the hospital’s September 2018 settlement with the federal government to resolve allegations of fraud and an illegal kickback scheme. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) fined KRH after it found that Kreitinger, acting as compliance officer, “falsely certified” documents stating the hospital had completed requirements mandated in a corporate integrity agreement, which was part of the $24 million federal settlement with the federal government.

The corporate integrity agreement required all hospital board members to complete training within 90 days of the agreement’s effective date. An August 2019 letter from the OIG stated that Kreitinger falsely certified that all board members had received the training in a January implementation report when six from The HealthCenter had not. The hospital was fined $65,000 as a result.

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