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Astria Regional Medical Center and Toppenish Community Name New Chief Executive Officers

YAKIMA, WA (March 26, 2014)  Astria Regional Medical Center and Toppenish Community Hospital have each named new chief executive officers this week.

Veronica Knudson has been named CEO of Astria Regional Medical Center, and Perry Gay was named CEO of sister facility Toppenish Community Hospital.  Both healthcare executives have served in the interim role since mid-February.

Veronica Knudson, Astria Regional Medical Center Medical Center

Knudson has more than 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, including hospitals in Washington State.  Since 2011 she has been chief operating officer of a large tertiary hospital in Tucson, the hub of an integrated healthcare delivery system with two hospitals, more than 100 affiliated providers, ambulatory surgery centers and urgent care centers.  Prior to that, she was chief operating officer in a large system in California, and COO at Providence Everett Medical Center in Washington. 

“We’re thrilled to have this experienced, dynamic professional to lead the next era of growth for our organization, and in concert with Toppenish Community, guide our system development in this market,” said Maureen Adkison, chairman of Astria Regional Medical Center’s board of trustees.  “Her executive and nursing experience, her former experience in Washington State, and her focus on a balanced approach of employee and physician involvement will be a good fit with our team, and our community,” she said.

“It’s so good to be back in Washington, especially with the really talented team at Astria Regional Medical Center,” said Knudson.  “I’ve been impressed with the quality of the caregivers and those who support them.  The capabilities and passion we have to advance safe, quality care and grow services locally with Toppenish Community Hospital and Central Washington Medical Group is exciting.”

Dr. Dave Atteberry, chief of the medical staff at Astria Regional Medical Center, said that “Veronica’s passion as a former nurse shines through in her role as an administrator, and we have been impressed.  Her infectious personality and her ability to roll up her sleeves to get the work done will strengthen her ability to establish good relationships with the medical staff and employees, and also with others in the community.”

Knudson earned a Master of Business Administration degree from City University in Bellevue, Washington, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Perry Gay, Toppenish Community Hospital

While serving in the interim CEO role at Toppenish the past several weeks, Gay continued to serve as COO of Astria Regional Medical Center.  With the fulltime job as CEO at Toppenish, he no longer will have COO responsibilities at our sister hospital.

Gay originally joined Toppenish Community Hospital (TCH) in January 2010 as controller.  He was promoted within the company and served as chief financial officer  of a community hospital in Florida and then returned to Washington to begin his tenure as chief operating officer of Astria Regional Medical Center.

Gay has more than a decade of executive management experience. Perry received his master’s degree in Business Administration from St. Leo University in St Leo, Florida. 

“It’s a privilege to return and work alongside the professionals at Toppenish Community Hospital,” said Gay. “This team’s dedication to providing patients with quality, personalized care makes this hospital a valuable resource for our community.”

“We look forward to the leadership Perry brings to our hospital, our network with Astria Regional Medical Center, and our community,” said Bertha Ortega, chairman of the TCH board of trustees.  “Perry understands our hospital and our market.  He’s committed to working with our employees, physicians, leaders, our sister hospital and the community to develop the ways we take care of area residents and expand the reach of our hospital throughout the Lower Valley”

Dr. Aaron Grigg, our Chief of Staff, helped with the CEO selection.  “We are proud of the quality care and excellent staff at Toppenish Community Hospital.  The physician leadership and physician staff are excited to work with Perry as our new CEO. We are already impressed with his leadership and energy as well as his dedication to the community,” he said.