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Cris Rivera joins Rio Grande Regional Hospital as Chief Executive Officer

Rio Grande Regional Hospital November 13, 2012

Cris Rivera joins Rio Grande Regional Hospital as Chief Executive Officer

HCA Gulf Coast Division President, Maura Walsh, announced that Cris Rivera has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HCA affiliated Rio Grande Regional Hospital (RGRH). Rivera comes to RGRH from HCA affiliated Allen County Hospital (ACH) in Iola, Kansas where she served as CEO leading the way for the facility to receive top recognition by The Joint Commission as one of the nation’s top performing hospitals based on key quality measures.  

Rivera, a Valley native, has held various HCA healthcare leadership roles over the last 30 years. She served as CEO at Savoy Medical Center, a 180-bed hospital in Mamou, Louisiana. During her tenure at Savoy, Rivera completed several renovation projects and opened a health clinic to include pediatric and obstetrical services. She also successfully recruited primary and specialty care physicians to the community. Prior to working in Louisiana, Rivera served as COO and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC), a 343-bed hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. Under her leadership, the hospital improved physician satisfaction, employee engagement and key quality measures. She also completed the final site plan and detailed construction drawings for the largest expansion in Overland Park Regional’s history.

In 1982 Rivera held her first healthcare position as a lab supervisor at Rio Grande Regional Hospital and after completing the HCA Chief Operations Officer (COO) Development Program in 2004 Rivera served as COO at HCA affiliated Valley Regional Medical Center (VRMC), a 240-bed hospital in Brownsville, Texas. Now, the Valley native is coming home.

“It’s been 30 years since I first worked at Rio Grande Regional Hospital,” said Rivera. “Now, I’m returning as its CEO at the same time the hospital is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It’s a great homecoming and I look forward to serving our community and continuing Rio Grande Regional Hospital’s commitment to quality and compassionate care.”

“Cris is an experienced hospital executive with a strong knowledge of financial and clinical operations,” said Maura Walsh, HCA Gulf Coast Division President. “Her passionate commitment to the health and welfare of the people of the Rio Grande Valley makes her the perfect fit for our hospital and the communities it serves.”

Rivera earned a Bachelor of Science from Incarnate Word College and a Master of Business Administration and Healthcare Management from Our Lady of the Lake. Both organizations are located in San Antonio, Texas.

Rivera is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and recently served as the organization’s Regent-at-Large for District 4. She currently serves on the board of the Kansas Association of Healthcare Executives and is heavily involved in several charitable organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and March of Dimes.

Rio Grande Regional Hospital

Founded in 1982, Rio Grande Regional Hospital is a full service medical facility serving the Rio Grande Valley.  With physicians representing over 35 specialties, Rio Grande Regional Hospital along with the Children’s Medical Center at Rio Grande Regional Hospital offer an array of comprehensive services including: full surgical and diagnostic capabilities, Cardiac Care; Surgical Services; Radiology;  Women’s Services; Diabetes Management; Intensive Care; Neonatal Care; Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy; Advanced Level III Trauma Services, and an Off-Site Emergency Department. Rio Grande Regional Hospital is proud to be the first and only hospital in the Rio Grande Valley with a Pediatric Heart Program. For more information, visit our website at

About HCA Gulf Coast Division

HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers, cancer centers, and diagnostic imaging facilities. It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas residents and businesses.  HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include 10 Hospitals, 8 ambulatory surgery centers, 6 diagnostic imaging facilities, 7 off-campus emergency centers, a hospital-based express care center, and a regional transfer center that provides one phone call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150 mile radius. For more information, visit our website at

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