Richard Peterson to Retire as President and CEO of Swedish Medical Center

Richard Peterson to Retire as President and CEO of Swedish Medical Center

SEATTLE, June 9, 2006 – Richard H. Peterson today announced his intention to retire in 2007 as president and CEO of Swedish Medical Center. Peterson, joined by Board of Trustees Chairman Kirby McDonald, made the announcement at a management retreat today, followed by an announcement to the organization’s employees, medical staff and volunteers.

Peterson’s announcement follows several months of succession planning jointly conducted by he and the Board. Peterson will stay on as CEO until a successor has been named and is in place. A search committee will soon be appointed to begin the process. Candidates from both within and outside the organization will be considered.

“It has been my privilege to serve as this organization’s president and CEO and my honor to work with the people of Swedish for more than a decade,” Peterson said. “In that time we have together accomplished a great deal. After careful consideration and discussions with my family and members of the Board, I have decided that the time is right to pass the torch to new leadership to build on the legacy we have worked so hard to achieve for Swedish here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Peterson joined Swedish in January 1995 following four years as president and CEO of Fairview Riverside Medical Center in Minneapolis, a 1,200-bed nonprofit organization.

“Richard’s tenure at Swedish has been marked by tremendous achievements and robust growth,” said McDonald. “He will leave this organization in a position of great strength – strength which he helped create.”

During his tenure at Swedish, the organization has grown to include multiple hospital campuses, a network of primary-care and specialty-care clinics and a new freestanding emergency department and specialty-care center in Issaquah. Among other notable achievements, Peterson has championed a robust quality- and service-improvement program and moved Swedish to a position of much greater financial stability.

The new CEO will be tasked with leading Swedish on multiple fronts, which the organization considers to be high priorities in the coming years. Among these long-term priorities are: helping raise Swedish’s culture of philanthropy; implementing a state-of-the-art clinical information system; leading the future redevelopment of the Ballard campus; spearheading the organization’s long-term strategic planning process; solidifying Swedish’s leadership role in clinical and service quality; and completing facilities development projects that will enhance service lines such as cardiology, neurosciences and orthopedics.

“We are grateful for Richard’s contributions over the past decade, as well as for his commitment to a rigorous succession plan and search process to identify our next CEO,” added McDonald. “This person will be a leader who can continue to build on the legacy of quality, innovation and community involvement that has been a hallmark of Swedish since its inception nearly 100 years ago. He or she will be presented with an opportunity to take what is widely believed to be the best hospital organization in the Pacific Northwest – a true community asset – and make it even better.”


Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Providence and Ballard), a new community-based emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit

Media Coverage

  • To read a brief about this announcement publishe June 9 on the Puget Sound Business Journal Web site, click here.
  • To read a related article published in the June 10 issue of The Seattle Times, click here.
  • To read a related article published in the June 10 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, click here.
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