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HealthONE(R) Appoints Nationally Renowned Pediatric Cardiologist & Childhood Obesity Expert as First Chief Medical Officer for the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children(SM)

DENVER, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Reginald "Reggie" Washington, a national force in fighting cardiovascular disease and obesity in children, has been appointed the first Chief Medical Officer for HCA-HealthONE LLC's new Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Washington starts January 1, 2008, overseeing clinical operations for the new pediatric hospital, which will be on the campus of Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center (P/SL) in Denver.


In addition, Dr. Jack Chang, retired pediatric and neonatal surgeon, will continue in his role as Pediatric Physician Liaison for the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Dr. Chang has been instrumental in gathering research and seeking input from physicians across the region regarding the types of services the new hospital will include.

A Colorado Springs native, Dr. Washington, 57, has practiced pediatric cardiology in Denver for more than 25 years. He serves on several national committees, including for the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is a former two-term member of the national board of the American Heart Association and was a recipient of the AHA's Physician of the Year award. In Colorado, Dr. Washington is former president and member of the Board of Governors for Colorado State University, as well as the Governing Board of Regis University in Denver.

Dr. Renee Jenkins, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) applauded the appointment and described Dr. Washington as one of the country's foremost authorities on pediatric obesity prevention. "As co-chair of the AAP's former Task Force on Obesity, Dr. Washington has worked tirelessly to spearhead national efforts to combat the childhood obesity epidemic," Dr. Jenkins said. Dr. Washington is also a former chair of the AAP Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness and the 2007 recipient of its Thomas E. Shaffer Award, recognizing an individual for lifelong contributions in the field of sports medicine.

Both Washington and Chang were among a group of pediatric physicians, pediatric sub-specialists and pediatric surgeons who moved their practices to Presbyterian/St. Luke's 17 years ago and established a regionally renowned center there caring for high-risk births, neonates, infants, children and teens. As demand began outgrowing space at P/SL, these pediatric specialists also became the impetus for establishing a new, stand-alone pediatric medical center to better accommodate the increase in patients.

"Most U.S. cities of Denver's size have at least two stand-alone children's hospitals," Washington says. "Our region is growing, and the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children brings another choice for the high-caliber care children and physicians need and deserve."

Plans for The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children were formally unveiled in June and construction planning is under way for the $113 million complex on the P/SL campus. In addition to the pediatric hospital, there will be a new medical office building, ambulatory surgery center and parking structure. Until the new hospital opens, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children physicians and staff will continue providing care within P/SL.

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Washington will oversee enhancements of newborn and pediatric care across the HealthONE system of hospitals, incorporating the specialty emergency and pediatric services of Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.

"Dr. Washington is a national expert on the health of our children. It is an honor and a privilege to have him on our team," says Mimi Roberson, President and CEO of Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, who has worked with him for eight years. "He treats all of his patients as if they were his own kids. He will lead us into the next generation of care through The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL."

HealthONE President and CEO Jeff Dorsey also commended Dr. Washington for setting the highest standards for treating pediatric patients and their loved ones. "Nurses, physicians and others who work with him model themselves by his high standards. He continually raises the bar for patient care. We know Dr. Washington is the right clinical leader to help create one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation."

Dr. Washington recently co-authored a national study on childhood obesity, a cause close to his heart as a member of the AMA's Expert Committee on the Assessment & Prevention of Childhood Obesity and member of the Expert Panel on Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Children convened by the National Institute for Health. Much of Dr. Washington's time is spent consulting parents and children on nutrition and exercise programs to help ward off obesity as well as the development of many related diseases.

He has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals on pediatric cardiology and related topics and serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Pediatrics, the Editorial Board of Congenital Heart Disease, and the Editorial Board of Obesity Management Journal. He is often called upon by national organizations and media such as The New York Times and USA Today for his expertise.

Washington and his wife, Faye, have two children and two grandchildren.

About HealthONE

HCA-HealthONE LLC is the largest healthcare system in the metro Denver area with 8,500 employees and 3,000 affiliated physicians. Named Colorado's "Best Company for Working Families -- large business category," in 2004, 2005 and 2006, the health system was created in 1995 as a 50/50 joint venture between non-profit The Colorado Health Foundation (formerly HealthONE Alliance), Colorado's 2nd-largest charitable foundation, and various affiliates of HCA.

HealthONE includes: The Medical Center of Aurora and Centennial Medical Plaza; North Suburban Medical Center; Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children; Rose Medical Center; Sky Ridge Medical Center; Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital; Swedish Medical Center and Swedish Southwest ER; 11 ambulatory surgical centers; more than 30 occupational medicine/rehabilitation, Broncos Sports Medicine, specialty, and outpatient diagnostic imaging clinics; and AirLife, which provides critical care air and ground transportation for a seven-state region.

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