See more of the story

Fairview Health Services on Tuesday announced that it has hired a new leader, turning a page on a period of turmoil in which its previous CEO retired under a cloud and merger talks broke down after intervention from the state attorney general.

Rulon Stacey, president of University of Colorado Health, will become president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Fairview on Nov. 4.

Stacey helped engineer a merger between Poudre Valley Health, where he was CEO, and the University of Colorado in January 2012. He announced in August that he would be stepping down as a leader of the merged operations on Oct. 1.

The University of Colorado is similar to Fairview in that it combines a system of hospitals and clinics with an academic medical center. Fairview operates the University of Minnesota Medical Center as well as five community hospitals, 40 primary-care clinics, pharmacies, senior services and home-care services.

"Fairview is very fortunate to welcome a new CEO who has experience leading a combined academic and community system and has such an impressive track record of improving quality by engaging employees and physicians," Chuck Mooty, Fairview Board chairman and interim CEO, said in a statement.

Fairview did not make any executives available for interviews.

Mooty took over as interim CEO in July 2012 after the hospital became embroiled in a scandal involving a Chicago-based collection service, Accretive Health.

Attorney General Lori Swanson had called out Accretive for badgering patients for payments, sometimes when they showed up for care in the emergency department.

Fairview CEO Mark Eustis announced his retirement a month after Swanson's report.

Fairview came under the spotlight again in March, after private merger talks with Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford came to light and Swanson held a contentious public hearing.

She argued that the public's investment in the University of Minnesota deserved deeper scrutiny, particularly since the suitor was based outside of Minnesota.

Sanford Health in April announced it would not pursue a partnership because the deal lacked support.

In the announcement, Stacey said he looked forward to joining Fairview and the University of Minnesota in their "quest to continually improve and grow."

"Improving quality will be my focus from Day One," he said.

Fairview is the sixth-largest nonprofit in Minnesota and one of the largest health systems in the Upper Midwest, with revenue of $3.2 billion last year.

Stacey's financial compensation was not disclosed by Fairview, but Eustis had total compensation of almost $1.5 million in 2011, according to tax statements. That made him the sixth-highest-paid nonprofit CEO in the state.

Stacey earned $1.7 million in total compensation from the Poudre Valley Health System in 2011, but that represented a decline from his 2010 compensation of more than $2.5 million, according to tax statements.

A January 2013 article in the Coloradoan newspaper indicated that Poudre Valley had hired the Hay Group consulting firm to lower executive compensation overall in order to meet financial goals.

Stacey is a native of Provo, Utah, and has a doctorate in public administration from the University of Colorado. He also has a master's in health administration and a bachelor's degree in economics from Brigham Young University.

Staff writer Jeremy Olson contributed to this report.

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335