Gar Atchison Named CEO of UP Health System-Marquette and Market CEO of UP Health System
Date Posted: Oct 16, 2019
Author: LifePoint Health
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Marquette, Mich. (October 16, 2019) – UP Health System announced today that Gar Atchison has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of UP Health System-Marquette (UPHS-Marquette) and market CEO of UP Health System. Atchison replaces Jerry Dooley, who has been serving as interim CEO for UPHS-Marquette since June. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Gar to the Upper Peninsula,” said Jamie Carter, president of LifePoint Health’s Eastern Division, of which UP Health System is a part. “Gar is a seasoned leader who is deeply committed to our mission of Making Communities Healthier. I am confident that his passion for quality care, his operational expertise and his strong track record for organizational growth will be a tremendous benefit to UPHS-Marquette and UP Health System as a whole. We look forward to the many ways his leadership will help our Michigan hospitals further improve the health and well-being of their communities in the years to come.”

A veteran healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience, Atchison joins UPHS-Marquette from Frye Regional Medical Center (FRMC), another Duke LifePoint facility in Hickory, North Carolina. During his tenure there, he served in several leadership positions, including as chief operating officer (COO), vice president of business development and market operations director for the hospital’s physician network, before assuming the role of CEO in 2016.

Prior to his time at FRMC, Atchison served as CEO of Hickory Orthopaedic Center, PA, a multi-location orthopaedic practice in Hickory, North Carolina. Before that, he was a practice administrator for Bay Street Orthopaedics in Petoskey, Michigan, and financial operations manager for Northern Michigan Hospital, also in Petoskey. 

“We are pleased that a veteran leader from the Duke LifePoint network and a former Michigan native will be taking the helm here in Marquette,” said UPHS-Marquette Board Chair, John Bartlett, MD. “His reputation as a strong healthcare executive, avid community supporter and mission-minded leader who is sharply focused on quality care makes him the ideal person to take our hospital into the future. We are confident that he will be a terrific addition to the UPHS-Marquette and UP Health System family.”

Atchison earned a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and a Master of Business Administration from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Certified Patient Safety Officer through the Duke Patient Safety Center.

“I am excited to join the UPHS family and be part of its legacy of providing high quality care and service for the Upper Peninsula,” said Atchison. “I look forward to working alongside the dedicated teams at UPHS-Marquette, UPHS-Portage and UPHS-Bell to ensure that those we serve continue to have access to the highest quality healthcare services close to home as we advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.” 

About UP Health System-Marquette
UP Health System – Marquette (UPHS – Marquette) is a federally-designated Regional Referral Center for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP). UPHS - Marquette is a Level II Trauma Center, as verified by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma. The Joint Commission awarded the hospital the Gold Seal of Approval for its Primary Stroke Center in 2010, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan gave UPHS - Marquette its Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Spine Surgery, Maternity Care, and Knee & Hip Replacement in 2016.  The UP Health System – Marquette Cancer Care program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and is the only accredited cancer program in the Upper Peninsula. We have been granted designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. UP Health System - Marquette received Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI accreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in December 2016. 

UPHS – Marquette recently completed construction on its new state of the art hospital on June 2. As Upper Michigan's Regional Medical Center, UPHS - Marquette recruits for employed and private practice positions in Marquette, Michigan, and similar positions at hospital-owned clinics in eight other communities throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The dynamic medical staff of more than 200 doctors upholds the highest standards of excellence. They work as a team with our 2300+ employees in caring for approximately 12,000 inpatients and more than 350,000 outpatients a year.    

UP Health System – Marquette’s major services include its Heart & Vascular Institute, Cancer Center, Brain & Spine Center, Rehabilitation Center, Behavioral Health, Digestive Health, Bariatric Medicine & Weight Management Center and Women’s Health, Family Birthing, and Pediatrics Center. The hospital also provides the region’s premier services in imaging, surgery and laboratory and is home to the UP Telehealth Network, a leading telehealth network in the nation. UPHS - Marquette services many of the communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with 42 primary and specialty care clinics spread throughout the region.