Reliant Medical Group Names New President/CEO

Leadership transition to occur when current leader retires in March

WORCESTER, MASS, January 25, 2013 – Reliant Medical Group, an affiliate of Atrius Health, announced today that Armin Ernst, MD will become the organization’s next president/CEO in late March, 2013 when the post is vacated by retiring president/CEO Jack Dutzar, MD.  Dr. Ernst comes to the Worcester-based multi-specialty medical group from Steward Health Care in Boston where he most recently was the Vice President, Medical Business Unit.

Dr. Ernst has extensive experience in building integrated, high-performance physician systems and teams within large academic medical centers.  As a vice president at Steward Health Care, Dr. Ernst led the largest business unit within Steward Medical Group, overseeing 200 providers and 600 staff.  In this position, he led an effort to consolidate practice sites across the Steward system into high-performing business operations.

At Steward, Dr. Ernst also was the vice president for the thoracic service line, responsible for clinical oversight of all thoracic services in the Steward system. He conceived, designed and implemented integrated thoracic services across hospitals, facilitating the development of an infrastructure prepared to function in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) environment.

“We feel very fortunate that our long and comprehensive executive search has led us to Dr. Armin Ernst,” says Dr. Robert Yood, board chair and member of the CEO search committee at Reliant. “Dr. Ernst will bring to this position a wealth of executive experience, honed in some of the country’s most prestigious medical facilities.”

An award winning pulmonologist, Dr. Ernst was the chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Brighton, Mass., a tertiary referral center for Steward Health Care and a major teaching hospital of Tufts University Medical School, where he holds an appointment as Professor of Medicine.  As chief, he oversaw all critical care and pulmonary activities in the hospital. During his three-year tenure in this position, he grew the division’s physician workforce by 30 percent.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Ernst was the chief of Interventional Pulmonology and medical director of the Complex Airway Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Ernst is highly experienced in all facets of medical research management.  He has published more than 200 articles in medical journals and has six textbooks in print.  He is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Pasquale Ciaglia Medal from the American College of Chest Physicians and is named in the top 1% of his profession by US News and World Report.

At Reliant Medical Group, which became a member of Atrius Health in 2011, Dr. Ernst will be overseeing the entire group’s operations, including a workforce of more than 2,000 employees. In addition, he will be an integral member of Atrius Health’s leadership team. Atrius Health is an alliance of six community-based medical groups including Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical Group, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Reliant Medical Group, South Shore Medical Center, and Southboro Medical Group that is committed to making it easy for patients to be healthier.

Dr. Ernst received his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg in Germany.  He completed a fellowship in Pulmonary Critical Care at Deaconess and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Ernst also earned a Master’s of Science in Health Care Management from Harvard University.

Reliant’s current president/CEO Jack Dutzar, MD is retiring after five years at the helm of the organization.

About Reliant Medical Group
Reliant Medical Group is an independent, multi-specialty group of physicians conveniently located throughout Central Massachusetts. With over 250 doctors and 1,700 employees across more than 20 locations, Reliant Medical Group offers a unique collaborative approach to care that helps patients through sickness and health with compassion and a dedication to service.   Reliant Medical Group accepts all major forms of health insurance. For more information on Reliant Medical Group, please visit us at: www.reliantmedicalgroup.org.

About Atrius Health
Atrius Health is an alliance of six community-based medical groups including Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical Group, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Reliant Medical Group, South Shore Medical Center, and Southboro Medical Group that is committed to making it easy for patients to be healthier. The Massachusetts nonprofit organization was created to enable collaboration on new and better ways of delivering care while maintaining an emphasis on care for the local community. Atrius Health represents more than 1,000 physicians and over 1,425 other health professionals serving nearly 1 million patients throughout Massachusetts. For more information, please visit http://www.atriushealth.org.

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