After 10 years of service, Dr. David Pate, CEO and president of St. Luke’s Health System, is retiring. Pate came to St. Luke’s in August 2009 from an executive role at the Texas Center in Houston, and said he plans to remain in Idaho following his retirement at the end of January.
In a phone interview with the Idaho Mountain Express on Wednesday, Pate said the announcement, which came in the form of a press release on Nov. 6, marks the closing of a gratifying chapter in his career.
“It’s obviously bittersweet,” Pate said. “I’ve had a remarkable career, so I feel very professionally satisfied and gratified. On the other hand, this is exciting work and I’ll miss it.”
Pate explained that when he took the position in 2009, he told the board of directors he would commit to 10 years, which he has done. Throughout his decade with St. Luke’s, the only health system based in Idaho, it has been named for six of the 10 years as one of the top health systems in the country, “putting it in a league of only a handful of the very best health-care organizations in America,” the press release stated.
“I wish to thank the St. Luke’s Health System board of directors for this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead St. Luke’s through this tremendous time of transformation,” Pate said in the press release. “The board entrusted this precious community asset to me, and I am glad to be able to say that I will leave our organization well positioned, financially, structurally and operationally, and decisively headed into an innovative, integrated and very bright future.”
Once retired, Pate hopes to focus on his wife, who has made many sacrifices to help advance her husband’s career.
“Now I’m going to make her my No. 1 priority,” Pate said, as well as his five grandchildren whose activities and sporting events he’s often had to miss due to work. Pate will also continue teaching health law at the University of Idaho Law Center and writing analysis of health policies as well as offer his expertise to other health systems in how he transformed St. Luke’s from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-value system.
“I think other organizations could benefit from that and I’m certainly interested in helping others learn what we’ve done here at St. Luke’s,” Pate said.
Taking over in Pate’s position will be current St. Luke’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Roth.
“The St. Luke’s Health System board of directors assessed multiple options before determining that the organization would be best served by Roth, a seasoned leader and executive with a proven track record who has been with the system for a dozen years,” the press release stated.
Roth joined St. Luke’s in 2007 as vice president and chief operating officer for the Treasure Valley region. He came from executive and leadership positions with Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle, Ochsner Health System in New Orleans and other health care organizations.