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CommonSpirit Health announces new CEO for Mercy Hospital

Josh Neff will take over for Brandon Mencini July 1
Josh Neff will take over as CEO of Mercy Hospital on July 1. (Courtesy of CommonSpirit Health)

CommonSpirit Health has announced that Josh Neff will take over as the CEO of Mercy Hospital in Durango.

He will start July 1, the same day that outgoing-CEO Brandon Mencini steps down.

Neff is currently both the CEO of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Fort Morgan and CommonSpirit’s Vice President of Integration and Rural Health. The new job will be a step from managing a 50-bed facility to an 82-bed facility.

The appointment of Neff to the top job at Mercy came quickly after Mencini announced his departure. Mencini, who arrived in Durango in October 2022, will start a new job in Southern Oregon as CEO of the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Asante Ashland Community Hospital on July 22.

“While we are sad to see Brandon Mencini leave Mercy Hospital, we are grateful for the work he has done to support our employees, our patients and our community,” said Wanda Ellingson, chair of Mercy Hospital’s Board of Trustees in a news release.

“CommonSpirit and Mercy Hospital are committed to expanding access to high-quality care for everyone in the Four Corners Region, and with Josh’s unique background in rural care, we believe he is the right person to help us continue to build for the future,” she added. “Mercy Hospital and its caregivers bring a level of commitment and compassion to each patient that cannot be matched, and Josh understands why this makes Mercy such an important part of our community.”

Neff was not immediately available for comment.

The incoming executive has been with CommonSpirit since 2018 and led St. Elizabeth since March 2022. During his two-year tenure at that hospital, he opened a six-bed ICU, launched a voluntary detox program and added Flight For Life service.

“I’ve known Josh a long time and he is an exceptional choice to lead Mercy,” Mencini said in a written statement to The Durango Herald. “His passion for taking action to progress healthcare in small communities will be well received locally. I’m confident Durango will enjoy working with him.”

Neff takes over at Mercy as the hospital enters a new, post-COVID-19 pandemic chapter. Mercy was recently ranked a top 20 rural and community hospital by the National Rural Health Association.

The hospital’s leadership has, over the last two years, also leaned into efforts to bolster the services it offers and the volume of patients it can handle as it looks to become more of a regional service provider.


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