Health care executive announces retirement

Dennis Ficklin
Dennis Ficklin

The president and chief executive officer of Family Health West plans to retire at the end of June, brining to an end a nearly 30-year career with the health care organization in Fruita.

“I have confidence in the new administrative team. They are well-poised to take Family Health West to the next level of exceptional care,” Dennis Ficklin said.

Mark Francis, a business executive with experience in the construction and health care industries, has been hired as the new CEO at Family Health West and will succeed Ficklin.

Ficklin’s wife, Camille, who has directed information systems at Family Health West for 20 years, also plans to retire at the end of June. So does Errol Snider, chief operating officer and executive vice president.

“It has been my good fortune to have shared so many years and to have established such a great friendship and endearing respect for Errol Snider,” Dennis Ficklin said. “From my perspective, it is fitting that we retire together.”

Ficklin joined Family Health West in 1983 as controller. At that time, the Lower Valley Hospital Association had just opened a nursing home. Meanwhile a 1950s-vintage hospital offered only limited health care services.

During Ficklin’s 20-year tenure as president and CEO, Family Health West developed a national reputation for the services offered at its long-term health care facility, including a social model of care for patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In 2009, Family Health West opened a new hospital in Fruita that includes emergency, laboratory, radiology and surgery services. The organization also operates outpatient procedure and rehabilitation therapy centers, an urgent care clinic and assisted-living facility.

“It has been a true honor to serve with the dedicated staff and volunteers who make Family Health West what it is today,” Ficklin said. “I have been blessed to work with exceptional individuals.”

Francis operated a Grand Valley construction company with his father and brother for 25 years. He moved into the health care industry in 2004 as president and CEO of Community Hospital in Grand Junction.

Francis began consulting with Family Health West in 2008 and was involved in the design and construction of the new Fruita hospital.