Vermont Business Magazine The Fletcher Allen Health Care Board of Trustees has named Melinda L. Estes, M.D., as president and chief executive officer of Vermont's academic medical center following a national search. Dr. Estes, 50, is a neurologist and neuropathologist who also has a master's degree in Business Administration. She has spent most of the last two decades in The Cleveland Clinic health care system, holding a variety of positions of progressive responsibility. Since 2001, she has served as chief executive officer and chair of the board of governors of Cleveland Clinic Florida where she oversees both Cleveland Clinic Naples and Cleveland Clinic Weston.
"The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the search committee and with input from a variety of stakeholders both inside the organization and in the community, is excited to announce that Dr. Melinda Estes has accepted our offer to be the next chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen," said Louise McCarren, chair of the Fletcher Allen Board of Trustees and chair of the CEO search committee.
"Dr. Estes impressed us with her in-depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges that face academic medical centers and her track record for successfully addressing these challenges through a collaborative management style," McCarren said. "Her administrative health care experience, combined with her passion for academic medicine and her boundless energy, made her the unanimous choice to lead Fletcher Allen at this point in its history."
"It is a great honor for me to have been selected to be the next CEO of Fletcher Allen," Dr. Estes said. "Through my interactions with employees, trustees and community leaders, it quickly became clear that Fletcher Allen has a high degree of commitment both to the community and its academic mission. I look forward to applying all of my background and experience to help the health system, its employees and the academic enterprise to achieve their full potential."
Dr. Estes will succeed Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin I. Colodny who has served in that role since October 7, 2002.
Prior to becoming CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida, Dr. Estes was appointed executive director of business development at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio in October, 2000. She also served as chief medical officer of Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Prior to rejoining The Cleveland Clinic in 2000, Dr. Estes served as executive vice president and chief of staff for the MetroHealth System (MHS) in Cleveland from 1997-2000. In that role, she was responsible for all operational and financial management, strategic planning and hospital management of MHS, a 700+ bed academic medical center with an employee base of 5,000.
Previous to joining MetroHealth, Dr. Estes was associate chief of staff of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1990-1997. In that role, she managed human resource issues for more than 700 group-practice physicians and was directly responsible for career development, performance evaluation and compensation.
In 1990, Dr. Estes became the first woman to be elected to The Cleveland Clinic's Board of Governors, the nine-member executive management group of the Clinic responsible for establishing the future direction of the Clinic through strategic planning, recruitment and fiscal management.
Dr. Estes also has served as head of neuropathology at the Clinic, is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and her research has resulted in more than 100 scientific papers published.
She received her medical degree from the University of Texas, Galveston in 1978, and completed a neurology residency at the University of Texas, Galveston in 1982. She also was a neuropathology fellow at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1982-1984 and completed special training in pediatric neuropathology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 1984.
Dr. Estes earned her bachelor of science degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management in 1995.
Dr. Estes is married to Dr. Harold (Holly) Hollingsworth Morris III, a neurologist at The Cleveland Clinic. She and her husband enjoy hiking, canoeing and biking and have two daughters, one high school age and one in college. Dr. Estes is an avid runner and a musician.