Executive in Residence

The purpose of the Executive in Residence (EIR) program is to enhance students’ contact with and knowledge about the world of practice. The EIR meets with students collectively and individually several times during the academic year regarding career development, professionalism and leadership. Below is the list of the current and past executives and their bios (during the time of their EIR).

Minimize 2022–2023: JOHN HARRINGTON

John Harrington (EIR)

John Harrington has over 40 years of healthcare experience, all of it in Arizona. His journey took him through 11 different hospitals, seven of which Mr. Harrington served as Chief Executive Officer. His last permanent assignment was as Senior Vice President/CEO of Honorhealth Deer Valley Medical Center. He led Deer Valley Medical Center to Magnet status as well as their conversion to The Joint Commission from another accreditation body. In his role as Senior Vice President, he was charged with the development of a free-standing emergency department and outpatient center. This led to planning and development of Honorhealth’s sixth hospital. Mr. Harrington retired in May 2017, before the project was completed in 2021.  

Shortly after his retirement, Mr. Harrington took an interim position as Chief Administrative Officer of Flagstaff Medical Center, part of Northern Arizona Healthcare. He held that position for 13 months at which time a permanent replacement was hired. At that time, Mr. Harrington fully retired. 

Mr. Harrington excels at physician relations, financial performance, and strategic planning. He earned both his Master of Public Health and his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was an active member of ACHE, since 1978, serving as Regent of Arizona from 2003-2005, and served as an ACHE Governor from 2012-2015. He received the ACHE Exemplary Service Award in 2017. He’s been involved in several local and national boards. 

Minimize 2021–2022: Christopher Gessner

Chris Gessner_HeadshotThumbnail637575632837420168Christopher Gessner is currently the president and chief executive officer of University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), a nationally recognized academic medical center with almost 700 inpatient beds and 6,000 employees. UCH is the only academic medical center in Colorado and is the academic hub of the UCHealth system. As CEO of UCH, Gessner oversees other UCHealth locations in metro Denver including Broomfield Hospital, Highlands Ranch Hospital and numerous ambulatory medical centers.

Beginning in October 2021, Gessner will transition to a new role as president and chief executive officer of Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio.

Prior to UCH, Gessner was the president of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital where he led initiatives to advance patient care, improve access for patients and elevate the overall health care experience. He launched several care delivery innovations including an array of virtual health services, embedding behavioral health services in primary care and subspecialty practices and the creation of strategic liver transplant and cardiovascular partnerships in national markets.

Gessner excels at partnering with physicians and other clinicians and enabling teams with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to work across organizational boundaries and deliver exceptional performance. He also has extensive experience in payer-provider contracting and relationships having worked at both Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Geisinger Health System early in his career.

Gessner earned master’s degrees in health care administration and business from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William and Mary. Mr. Gessner enjoys spending time with his wife, Jane, and three children.

Maximize 2020–2021: Deborah Brodine

Maximize 2019–2020: Robert Curry

Maximize 2018–2019: Louis Shapiro

Maximize 2017–2018: Tom Sadvary

Maximize 2016–2017: Scott Becker

Maximize 2015–2016: Mark Sevco

Maximize 2014–2015: Ray Grady

Maximize 2013–2014: Norm Mitry

Maximize 2012–2013: Robert J. Henkel

Maximize 2011–2012: Cindy Dorundo

Maximize 2010–2011: Michael Young

Maximize 2009–2010: James Collins

Maximize 2008–2009: Leslie Davis

Maximize 2007–2008: Thomas Priselac

Maximize 2006–2007: David Hunter

Maximize 2005–2006: Thomas Timcho

Maximize 2003–2005: Michael Blackwood

Maximize 2002–2003: John Zanardelli