St. Anthony Summit Medical Center’s new CEO talks taking the helm at Summit County hospital
St. Anthony Summit Medical Center has a new captain at the helm. Lee Boyles was announced as St. Anthony’s new CEO in November, succeeding former CEO Paul Chodkowski.
Boyles comes to Summit County from Little Falls, Minnesota, where he was the director for Catholic Health Initiatives’ St. Gabriel’s Health hospital and its four subsidiary clinics. Boyles worked for Catholic Health Initiatives, a co-sponsor of Centura Health, for 10 years, and was director at another CHI hospital in North Dakota.
Boyles went to the University of Montana for his MBA and said he felt a calling back to the mountains. He had his heart set on the job at St. Anthony Summit for a while, and when the opportunity came he could not pass it up.
“St. Anthony has an unbelievable culture with amazing people in a beautiful place,” Boyles said. “The associates, physicians, nurses, support staff — the entire team we have here are phenomenal.”
Boyles attributes much of the success that St. Anthony has accomplished over the past 14 years to the work of his predecessor and St. Anthony’s first CEO, Paul Chodkowski. St. Anthony Summit was ranked one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation by IBM Watson Health last year.
“Paul did an unbelievable job here,” Boyles said. “The people here are highly engaged, they love the patients, and you can feel that when you walk through the door. It really shows what Paul put in place and what he accomplished.”
For his part, Boyles intends to start his own legacy at St. Anthony by creating connections in the Summit community.
“A lot of my experience has come in building partnerships with the community, and seeing what we can do outside the hospital walls,” Boyles said. “I am looking forward to meeting with key community stakeholders, with the school district and organizations in the county. My focus will be to see how we can be that anchor for health care here, and really deliver health care the community wants and needs.”
While the quality of health care at St. Anthony has been lauded, the cost for care at the county’s only major hospital and providers across the county is being blamed as one of the main factors driving the high cost of health insurance premiums in Summit. A new health care initiative, called the Peak Health Alliance, will aim to bring the negotiating power of the county’s largest employers together to bring down costs.
Boyles said that he looks forward to working with the alliance to look for ways to decrease health costs in the county.
“We completely understand the concern with the costs,” Boyles said. “We are going to be at the table with the Peak Health Alliance and want to be good partners and really help deliver care to locals at a lower rate, which could lower premiums.”
Boyles acknowledges that there are other challenges to providing health care in Summit, including revolving-door staffing issues that plague most employers in Summit.
However, he sees many more accomplishments than challenges ahead, with Centura announcing its strategic plan for 2025 and the seating of a new all-local board of directors at the hospital.
“Any challenges we come across, I feel like we can surmount,” Boyles said.
Boyles now lives in Breckenridge with his wife and three daughters, two who attend Breckenridge Elementary.
“They are absolutely loving the mountain life,” he said. “We are blessed to come into this opportunity, to be able to live and work in such a great place.”
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