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Aurora Health Care appoints Turkal president and chief executive officer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Aurora Health Care today announced that Nick Turkal, M.D., has been named president and chief executive officer to succeed G. Edwin Howe, Aurora's founder, who earlier this year announced his plans to retire. Nick Turkal photo

Dr. Turkal, an Aurora senior vice president and president of the health care system's Metro Region, was selected after a comprehensive nationwide search, said Bev Greenberg, chair of the Aurora Board of Directors and vice president of Time Warner Cable, Wisconsin. The Board unanimously approved his appointment Tuesday, she said.

Dr. Turkal will transition to his new role October 1. Howe plans to begin his retirement in January 2007.

"Nick Turkal is a proven leader with a broad range of administrative experience and a passionate commitment to patient-centered health care," Greenberg said. "The Board is confident that he is the right person to lead the organization at this important point in its history, building on the masterful job that Ed Howe has done in positioning Aurora for the future."

Dr. Turkal, a practicing family physician, leads many of Aurora's clinical functions, including care management, quality initiatives and clinical research programs. As president of the system's Metro Region since early 2006, he oversees the operations of Aurora's facilities and services in the Milwaukee area, including Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, St. Luke's South Shore and West Allis Memorial Hospital. He has been with Aurora since 1987.

"I'm proud to have the opportunity to lead this organization and build on the remarkable vision of Ed Howe, who recognized long ago that the success of a health care system is told through how we care for our patients, constantly encouraging our dedicated physicians, caregivers and employees to find better ways to provide care," Dr. Turkal said. "I am keenly aware of the inter-related issues of quality and cost that affect health care providers today. My plan will be to relentlessly drive quality improvement throughout Aurora while also driving down costs. We know through our efforts to date that these goals can be achieved in ways that are good for patients, businesses and communities."

Mary Ellen Stanek, chair of the search committee formed by the Aurora Board and managing director of the Milwaukee-based investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., said that the search committee's work had been thoughtful and thorough. Spencer Stuart, a national executive search firm, assisted with the search.
"We were very pleased by the widespread interest in the position from outstanding candidates at health care systems throughout the country," Stanek said. "This was a reflection of Aurora's reputation and stature nationally."

Greenberg thanked the members of the search committee for their dedication and commitment to the process. Paul Earle, a principal at Spencer Stuart, said, "Aurora's process of selecting a new CEO should be the model for other organizations. Each and every member of the committee brought a deep understanding of the current needs and future potential of Aurora as an organization, as well as a commitment to seeing through a disciplined search and selection with utmost professionalism and objectivity."

"I'm delighted with the Board's decision," Howe said. "Nick is a leader who has earned the trust and respect of our employees and physicians, and I know that community leaders throughout our state will embrace this choice. Nick embodies the values of Aurora Health Care - accountability, teamwork and respect - and he is a passionate advocate for patient care. Our senior leadership team and I feel strongly that Nick's the right leader for Aurora as we move into the future."

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Learn more about Dr. Turkal

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Contact: Jeff Squire 414-647-3408

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