A Year of Change at the Top

It was a historic year of transitions at the top level of management of NorthBay Healthcare in 2017 – beginning at the very top.

NorthBay Healthcare President and CEO Gary Passama retired in March after a remarkable 35 years at the corporate helm of this community nonprofit health system.

Stepping in to his role was B. Konard Jones, president of NorthBay Healthcare Group.

That was followed by Aimee Brewer, who became president of NorthBay Healthcare Group.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Nicole Brocato was promoted to a combined role that added oversight of hospital operations to her job.

In other senior executive moves, Vice President of Human Resources Ken McCollum retired in September after 14 years with the organization.

The Passama Legacy

Gary Passama

“These have been the best 35 years of my life,” Gary Passama told members of his Board of Directors and employees in a personal email.

In 1981 he arrived to serve as CEO of what was then Intercommunity Hospital, now NorthBay Medical Center, in Fairfield. As the locally managed healthcare organization grew, Passama's role burgeoned. Six years later, the one-hospital operation would become NorthBay Healthcare, which would grow over time to comprise two hospitals, four campuses, a medical group of 100 physicians and providers, a workforce of 2,800 employees, a philanthropic foundation and an array of advanced medical services, from trauma to neuroscience.

“He came on board with marching orders to steadily advance medicine close to home, to make this one of the best community-based, independent healthcare providers in the country,” explained Ben Huber, then chairman of the Board of Directors who has worked with Passama for 29 years. “And he's done just that.”

Return of B. Konard Jones

Konard Jones

Taking the reins from a legend, Jones in September was promoted from within, stepping up from his role as president of the Hospital Division. In fact, his NorthBay roots were even deeper.

Jones returned to the local healthcare system in February 2015 to manage the day-to-day operations of NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville.

The new CEO previously served as NorthBay Healthcare's vice president of human resources from 1995 to 2004. He then became president and CEO of Broadline Medical Inc., but returned to hospital operations in 2011 serving as vice president, professional and support services, at UC San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland.

Aimee Brewer Promoted

Aimee Brewer

The appointment of Jones spurred another promotion in the fall of last year.

Aimee Brewer, who was overseeing all outpatient services as president of the Ambulatory Division, became president of NorthBay Healthcare Group. But her role expanded as she added leadership responsibility of the two hospitals as well as The Surgery Center at NorthBay VacaValley.

Brewer came to NorthBay Healthcare from HCA Physician Services, appointed as director of operations for MountainStar Healthcare, serving Utah, Idaho, Alaska and Nevada. Prior to joining HCA, she was administrator for the Payson Center for Cancer Care. In addition, she was a practice manager and researcher for Children's Hospital of Boston. She has a bachelor's degree from Simmons College in Boston and a master's degree in public health from the University of New Hampshire.

New Role for Nicole Brocato

Aimee Brewer

In September, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Nicole Brocato was promoted into her new, combined role that added oversight of hospital operations to her duties.

She first joined the organization in 2014 as director of performance management. Six months later, she was promoted to vice president and chief quality officer.

Before coming to NorthBay Healthcare, Brocato worked for Kaiser Permanente as their area quality leader and for John Muir Health as their executive director of performance improvement and clinical research.

Concluding a Distinguished HR Career

Concluding a 48-year career, Ken McCollum announced in September he would retire after 14 years with NorthBay Healthcare.

“It's been a great privilege and pleasure to be of service to NorthBay and its employees,” McCollum said. “It's been a great ride, but it's time to do other things.”

During the decade and a half of his leadership, NorthBay grew from a 1,000-employee organization to what it is today – a 2,800-strong workforce propelling a sophisticated health care system that is the leader in Solano County.