CHA President and CEO Steven Summer to Retire; CHA Executive Vice President Chris Tholen to Assume CEO Role

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – July 15, 2019 – Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) announced that its long-tenured President and CEO Steven J. Summer will retire at the end of the year. Summer assumed the role in 2006 after serving previously at the West Virginia Hospital Association and the Maryland Hospital Association.

Under Summer’s leadership, CHA helped usher in many changes to the hospital and health care landscape in Colorado, including assisting with the creation of the state’s Hospital Provider Fee to improve reimbursement for Colorado hospitals, helping hospitals prepare for the expansion of Medicaid and supporting the development of the Colorado All Payer Claims database. Summer was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to serve on the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform. In addition, Summer, expanded many of the services CHA provides Colorado hospitals and health systems, including establishing its Center for Health Information and Data Analytics and the Colorado Telehealth Network and expanding the Association’s patient safety and quality improvement programs.

Chris Tholen, CHA executive vice president, will assume the role of CHA President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2020. Tholen was selected by a succession planning committee of the CHA Board of Trustees and received the full approval of the CHA Board earlier this year. He joined CHA in 2013 as the vice president of financial policy and chief financial officer after serving in a variety of roles at Kaiser Permanente. Tholen also worked on reimbursement and regulatory process issues at the Mayo Clinic, as well as at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota as an auditor. He was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Commission on Affordable Healthcare and has also served on the Colorado Healthcare Financing Management Association Board and the Colorado Association of Healthcare Executives Board.

“It has been my great honor to serve as the leader for this incredible organization for the past 13 years,” said Steven J. Summer. “Colorado’s hospitals are committed to improving the health of their communities, and through our vast network of rural and critical access hospitals, academic centers, trauma centers, behavioral health facilities and community hospitals – I believe they have met that vision and will continue to do so well into the future. Chris and the team that he has helped build at CHA are well positioned to lead our state’s hospitals into a new and dynamic health care environment.”

“As a community of Colorado hospitals, we are incredibly grateful to Steven for his leadership and vision over the past several years. He has built CHA to be a truly vibrant organization that is a vital resource for hospitals,” said Jena Hausmann, chairman of the CHA Board of Trustees; president and CEO, Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Moving forward, we know that Chris is a strategic thinker with a broad and long-range view. Given the changing landscape for hospitals and health care as a whole, we believe he is the right leader to unite and strengthen Colorado’s hospitals to continue serving the needs of all Coloradans.”

About Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at

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