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Penn Highlands New Chief Medical Officer

July 10, 2014
DuBOIS- Penn Highlands Healthcare announced today that Gary DuGan, MD, has been named the system's Chief Medical Officer (CMO).  This new position has been created to focus on quality and patient safety and have a broad influence on clinical strategy, clinical integration and the cost of care across the system. Dr. DuGan has been the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Penn Highlands DuBois, one of the system's affiliate hospitals, since 2007.

As part of the Penn Highlands Healthcare senior leadership team, Dr. DuGan will be responsible for overseeing the quality of medical care, the needs of the physician community and partnering with senior leadership across the system to strengthen and grow clinical programs.

Dr. DuGan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He received his medical degree from Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pa. He completed an Internal Medicine internship and residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., where he was also the chief medical resident.

He received a Master of Medical Management Degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, La. He is board certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Certified Physician Executive of the American College of Physician Executives. He serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance, a non-profit alliance of hospitals, physicians, health plans and other organizations who are dedicated to promoting responsible public reporting of health care information. He is also a member of the DuBois YMCA board of directors.

As the Chief Medical Officer at Penn Highlands DuBois, DuGan was responsible for overseeing many quality of care projects. Under his leadership, a four-year quality initiative with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield resulted in an additional $1 million per year of revenue for Penn Highlands DuBois. During that program, that included 22 hospitals of similar size, Penn Highlands DuBois achieved the lowest readmission rate while at the same time, posting the most difficult case mix of all the hospitals.

"Dr. DuGan has shown that he has a great attention to detail while creating a system that allows our providers to perform at high levels when it comes to giving the best care to our patients," Penn Highlands Healthcare CEO Raymond A. Graeca said. "Under his leadership, our DuBois facility has excelled at providing high quality care at a low cost compared to state and national averages. By meeting the criteria set forth by many insurance companies, Penn Highlands DuBois has seen its reimbursement rates increase or remain the same while hospitals across the country have seen their reimbursement rates decline."

Penn Highlands DuBois has never received a penalty or payment reduction as a result of not meeting the quality guidelines created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. DuGan and his team of performance improvement specialists have kept the PH DuBois quality and cost scores at the top of the list for Western Pennsylvania hospitals over the last few years and helped the hospital earn many quality awards from state and national organizations.

"It's been a pleasure working with the physicians, nurses, IT professionals and other caregivers who make it possible for Penn Highlands DuBois to reach such lofty quality goals," DuGan said. "In my new role as the CMO for the system, I look forward to continuing that process and expanding the high quality that our other facilities have also achieved. I believe by standardizing the process of care in all areas of Penn Highlands, our entire system can improve and provide even higher levels of care so that we are recognized as a leader both in our state and nationally."

Penn Highlands Healthcare is the region's premier healthcare provider with nearly 3,800 employees, 363 physicians and 556 inpatient beds. The system's eight-county service area includes hospitals in Brookville, Clearfield, DuBois and St. Marys. Additional affiliates include the Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center in St. Marys; Pinecrest Manor in St. Marys; Elco Glen senior residential living facility in St. Marys; Clear-Care Corporation (home medical supply company) in Clearfield; Community Nurses Incorporated (home health and hospice agency) in St. Marys; and urgent care centers in DuBois, St. Marys, Ridgway, and Emporium.

Dr. DuGan will work from the Penn Highlands corporate offices at 204 Hospital Avenue in DuBois. He will report directly to Mr. Graeca and work directly with the systemís other senior leaders, as well as, the presidents and physicians of the four affiliate hospitals.

"It is fulfilling to know that every one of our healthcare providers is ready to tackle the challenges and break down the barriers that might prevent us from delivering the highest quality of care to our patients," DuGan said. "Our patients have come to rely on us as physicians and on our system as their provider of choice to provide that care. My mission is to see that we deliver that quality care."

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