John R. Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO, UVM Health Network. (Photo: Jeff Clarke)
After more than four decades as a physician, innovator, and national leader in health care, John R. Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO of The University of Vermont Health Network since it was founded in 2011, has announced that he will retire in September.
Over the course of his career, Brumsted served as a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology in rural Northern New York and at the UVM Medical Center, brought individual health care organizations together as a health system to preserve access to high quality care in the region, and served as a respected voice and driver of what has become a national model for health care payment reform efforts here in Vermont.
“It is such an honor to be a part of health care in Vermont and Northern New York,” said Brumsted. “We have experienced and accomplished so much together, and we created something new – an integrated health care system – to respond to the needs of the patients we are so privileged to serve. We have faced many challenges, and there is no doubt that there will be more challenges in the future. I am confident that this organization will continue to innovate and improve the way we serve and advance the health of our patients and our communities, now and into the future.”
UVM Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., said "John Brumsted has devoted his career in service to our integrated health system, in roles at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, the UVM Medical Center and the UVM Health Network. On behalf of our College, I am grateful for his vision, partnership, and countless accomplishments that have brought benefit to our entire region. I wish him the very best on his retirement, and look forward to the process to recruit the next CEO who will build on Dr. Brumsted's legacy."
Preserving Local Access to Care
Brumsted’s leadership and vision was borne out of a desire to end health care disparities and protect access to care for people who are disadvantaged and for those who live in rural areas. This passion for equity drove the evolution of the UVM Health Network from its beginnings, as a loose affiliation among a handful of local hospitals, to an interconnected health system serving patients across two states and an essential partnership with the University of Vermont for academic medicine and research.
Under Brumsted’s direction, the UVM Health Network has become one of Northern New England’s premier health care providers, and Vermont has remained one of the lowest-cost states in the nation for health care. In recent years, the Network has embarked on a multi-year transformation to an electronic health record that serves as the foundation for countless quality and patient experience improvement initiatives. His support and leadership made possible the $180 million Miller Building addition to UVM Medical Center and the transformation of the struggling former Moses Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga, N.Y., into a modern, full-service medical village campus of Elizabethtown Community Hospital. In 2021, the Network launched UVM Health Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan, the first of its kind in the region, shaped by physicians toward the goal of making value based care a reality across the health system.
For nearly two years, Brumsted’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized providing the community with trusted health information and supporting the accelerated expansion of new pathways to care through video and phone visits to keep health care accessible during uncertain times, and leading the way with Network participation in an unprecedented mass vaccination campaign.
Brumsted also has driven the Network forward in a way that leverages the benefits of individual health care organizations coming together as a system of care. This has included efforts to create more consistent and equitable care through key new positions including the Network’s first Network Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Nursing Officer.
“Of course, none of what we have accomplished would be possible without the best providers and staff in health care,” Brumsted said. “To them, I want to express my enduring appreciation – ‘Thank you for showing up for our patients, communities and each other. I will miss working alongside you, but continue to be grateful for your service.’”
Championing Health Care Reform
Under Brumsted’s leadership, The UVM Health Network has worked with state and other health care partners to establish Vermont as a recognized national model for health care reform. The ongoing transition to value based care and reimbursement is one of the Network’s core strategies both in Vermont and Northern New York: These efforts are focused on transforming the way health care is delivered and paid for, to not only treat patients for their illness, but also to keep them as healthy as possible while controlling costs.
“Now, more than ever, it is clear that health care reform is absolutely necessary,” Dr. Brumsted said. “Vermont’s approach to reform allows providers – who know what their patients need – to come together statewide and chart a path toward higher-quality, lower-cost health care.”
UVMHN Will Launch a National Search
A national search has begun to identify a successor before Brumsted’s retirement on September 30. The search committee will be led by UVM Health Network Board Chair Allie Stickney.
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. The partners are:
(This article was adapted from a news release by Annie Mackin, UVM Health Network communications director.)