FORT COLLINS – For Rulon Stacey – as with all good leaders — it was a matter of being the right person in the right place at the right time.
By 1996, Poudre Valley Hospital System had seen a new CEO come and go nearly every year for the previous four years. Poised for huge change, PVHS was hungry for a leader who could put behind its years of turmoil and lead it into a brighter future.
The stage was set for the modest man from Provo, Utah, to take the reins and get the horse back on the track.
“I think the board (of directors) in ’96 knew the right path (and) sometimes the right path takes some political heat, but they’ve been very supportive,” said Stacey, president and CEO of PVHS for the last 11 years. “I couldn’t have done it without them but they probably could have done it without me.”
Stacey, 47, has been guiding PVHS with a steady hand through enormous growth in employees, services and facilities, including the opening of a brand-new hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, earlier this year. Those accomplishments have earned him the Northern Colorado Business Report’s Bravo! Fort Collins Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2007.
For Stacey, his years with PVHS have been a gratifying professional journey. “It has been an extraordinary experience to be here when that all happened,” he said. “The board of directors knew what had to happen. (PVHS) was ready to explode and they gave me the task of leading it.”
But it wasn’t just presiding over the addition of new facilities to the PVHS network. Along the way, the hospital system has won award after award for its care, competitive prices and services. Stacey gives credit to a community that loves its hospital and vice versa.
“I think it’s our commitment to the community,” he said. “We are a locally owned organization so it brings a focus on the community and we don’t have to send money to other places. It allows us to focus on quality and not money and when you do that, good things happen.”
Terry McNeal, a broker associate at The Group Inc. Real Estate who nominated Stacey along with her fellow associate, Ralph Waldo, said she did so because of Stacey’s commitment to the community.
“He has added much needed stability to a position that was once a revolving door,” McNeal said. “His commitment to excellence is never-ending and has been proven by the numerous awards mentioned in the nomination.”
Those awards include the 1999 Robert S. Hudgens Award from the American College of Healthcre Executives as “Young Healthcare Executive of the Year.”
For Stacey, it’s all about helping provide PVHS’s 3,200 employees with a great place to work and help people in need.
“The only reason, honestly, that we’re in business is to promote world-class health care,” he said.