Dr. Vicenta C. Gaspar-Yoo will become Allegheny Valley Hospital’s first practicing physician-president when she takes the helm of the Harrison hospital on July 1, Allegheny Health Network announced Thursday.
“It is an honor to become part of AHN and Highmark Health at this time of remarkable growth and innovation for the health system,” Gaspar-Yoo, 55, said in a statement.
“I look forward to working with all of the exceptional caregivers and volunteers at AVH to help shape and achieve that vision for our patients in the Alle-Kiski Valley,” she added.
Gaspar-Yoo comes to Allegheny Valley from Cleveland’s University Hospitals Health System, where she most recently served in dual capacities as system physician advisor and system physician lead. She previously was chief medical officer for University Hospital’s Bedford and Richmond hospitals.
Gaspar-Yoo replaces Bill Englert, who retired earlier this year. Former Wexford Health and Wellness Pavilion President Jeff Carlson has been serving as interim president and CEO. He will stay on at the hospital through the end of the year to help with the transition, spokeswoman Stephanie Waite said.
AHN President and CEO Cynthia Hundorfean said Gaspar-Yoo’s experience as a physician and health care administrator makes her qualified to lead Allegheny Valley, which recently celebrated its 110th anniversary. Her specialty as a physician is physical medicine and rehabilitation.
“AVH and the health of the Alle-Kiski community are incredibly important to our network, and we are excited to have such an extremely talented and accomplished physician executive join our leadership team in this critical role,” Hundorfean said in a statement.
“We look forward to the continued evolution, growth and success of AVH as the community’s leading provider of comprehensive, high-quality health care services under her direction,” he added.
The 190-bed hospital employs 900 people and has 320 physicians.
Gaspar-Yoo is a native of the Philippines and now resides in the Cleveland suburb of Avon Lake with her husband Bo Yoo, also a physician. They have two daughters and a son.
Gaspar-Yoo said they don’t plan to relocate in the first year as her son, their youngest child, will be finishing high school in Cleveland.
Gaspar-Yoo told the Tribune-Review in a phone interview that she was “semiretired” for 15 years while raising her three children.
Prior to her work with University Hospitals, she held several clinical and leadership posts at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio, including director of clinical innovation and program development, and president and chair of the physician-hospital organization.
She received a medical degree from the University of the East Medical Center, College of Medicine in Manila, Philippines, and completed postgraduate training with an internship at Crozer-Chester Medical Center near Philadelphia and a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh.
Gaspar-Yoo earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Gaspar-Yoo called Pittsburgh her second home.
“I started my professional career in Pittsburgh,” she told the Trib. “I loved where I worked. I lived in Shadyside. I love the Strip District. I feel like I’m coming home again.”
Gaspar-Yoo has been to Allegheny Valley several times. The hospital is bigger than she expected, and she found the staff to be friendly and helpful.
“I like the fact there’s a very solid group of volunteers from the community that want to serve the hospital,” she said. “I toured all the floors and there seems to be a very friendly atmosphere among staff and employees.”