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UPMC Cole Announces Leadership Transition in Northern Tier Region

by UPMC Susquehanna

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Beginning Jan. 14, 2019, UPMC Cole will welcome its new leader as current president and senior executive Ed Pitchford transitions into a regional role within UPMC. When Pitchford assumes his new role, Janie Hilfiger, president of UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors in Wellsboro, will be promoted to president of both hospitals.

In his new regional role, Pitchford will assist with the executive transition at UPMC Cole and continue to oversee the integration of the hospital with UPMC until his retirement in March 2019.

“Mr. Pitchford has been an integral part of the success of Cole Memorial, now UPMC Cole,” said Steven P. Johnson, president, UPMC Susquehanna. “As a leader, he helped advance local health care delivery in north central Pennsylvania. His vision and perseverance made a powerful impact, leaving UPMC Cole well-positioned for continued success, growth, and innovation. Mr. Pitchford will continue to be a key player for strategic development of the northern tier until his retirement.”

Pitchford first started working with UPMC Cole, then Cole Memorial in 1979 as an outside consultant. In 1987, he joined the hospital staff as chief financial officer and served in that role for five years before transitioning to executive leadership for Borgess Health, Kalamazoo, Mich. Pitchford returned to Cole Memorial in 2006 when he was named president and chief executive officer, his current role.

 “Little did I know in 1979 that this hospital, our staff and providers, and this community would be such an important part of my professional career in health care” said Pitchford.  “It has truly been an honor and pleasure to serve this organization and this community. I am proud of what we have achieved and I am equally optimistic that this region and this organization will thrive as UPMC Cole. They are in good hands with Ms. Hilfiger.”

Hilfiger brings more than 40 years of health care expertise in strategic planning, clinical operations, nursing, and patient care excellence. Under her leadership UPMC Soldiers + Sailors has garnered numerous patient care and financial performance accolades.

“It’s an honor to lead UPMC Cole,” says Hilfiger. “I’m excited for the future that our talented medical staff and dedicated employees will create for our region, working collaboratively with our UPMC associates in Wellsboro and across the UPMC system. Together, our organizations in Wellsboro and Coudersport will leverage the vast resources available within UPMC to ensure that patients in north central Pennsylvania have access to the best care possible.“

The continuity of a regionalized presidential role will align goals for both hospitals to work closely in partnership with one another. A shared vision across UPMC Cole and UPMC Susquehanna will translate into care with greater coordination, stronger outcomes, and improved patient experiences the communities in the region.