Joseph M. Kortum, CEO/President of Columbia Network, to Retire


​After eight years as CEO of Southwest Washington Health System and two years as CEO of the Columbia Network of PeaceHealth, Joseph M. Kortum, MHA, ACHE, has announced plans to retire, effective January 2014.

“It’s been a privilege to lead this community treasure which was established by Mother Joseph Pariseau 155 years ago,” said Kortum. “I’ve been honored to work with talented and committed boards, caregivers, physicians and volunteers in the noble cause of bringing healing and comfort to our community.”

“Joe has made an impact on so many people, both within PeaceHealth and within the community,” said Alan Yordy, president and chief mission officer of PeaceHealth. “We are very grateful for his service.”

Kortum has played a key role in the growth of access to health services in the region, including the affiliation with PeaceHealth in 2010, as well as the completion of the Firstenburg Tower in 2007 and the development of Southwest Medical Group (now PeaceHealth Medical Group) in 2007.

Kortum came to southwestern Washington in 2003 to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Washington Medical Center. He previously held similar posts with Northern Arizona Healthcare and Flagstaff Medical Center, and was Chief Operating Officer at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California. He is currently chairman of the board of the Washington State Hospital Association.

“Our organization and our community have both benefitted from Joe’s visionary leadership over the past decade. Through his efforts, we have aligned with PeaceHealth and expanded our base of support to help us manage the rapidly changing dynamics of health reform. His efforts to build collaborative relationships across the communities we serve will continue to pay dividends for patients for years to come,” said Ruth Bennett, Chair, Board of Directors, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Yordy said that he will be working with Kortum and the community boards of Southwest and PeaceHealth over the next few months to assure a smooth leadership transition.