Under new ownership, Everett Clinic leadership will change

Dr. Aric Coffman is scheduled to become chief executive, taking over after Rick Cooper retires.

Rick Cooper

Rick Cooper

EVERETT — The Everett Clinic, which is facing its second change in ownership in the past two years, also will soon have new leadership.

Dr. Aric Coffman, a surgeon who also is president of DaVita Medical Group’s Albuquerque office, is scheduled to become chief executive of The Everett Clinic on Feb. 1.

He will take over from Rick Cooper, who has announced he will retire Jan. 31.

Cooper has been Northwest regional market president for DaVita Medical Group.

Last year, DaVita Inc. paid $405 million to purchase The Everett Clinic. With 2,500 employees it is one of the Snohomish County’s largest employers.

Cooper temporarily stepped back into his role as chief executive of The Everett Clinic on Aug. 1, replacing Chris Knapp, who returned to private law practice. Knapp served as The Everett Clinic’s chief executive for less than a year.

Cooper said Coffman is splitting his time between Everett and Albuquerque, where he is helping train the incoming executive there.

Dr. Aric Coffman

Dr. Aric Coffman

Coffman has a medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and a masters of business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

The pending change in top leadership follows DaVita’s announcement earlier this month that it plans to sell DaVita Medical Group, its medical group subsidiary that includes The Everett Clinic, to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit for $4.9 billion.

UnitedHealth Group is based in Minnesota. Its Optum division aims to use data, analytics, technologies and clinical expertise to help DaVita Medical Group physicians provide better care.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Cooper said it’s likely the deal won’t be completed until September.

Cooper, 67, has been with The Everett Clinic since 1977, when the organization was based only in Everett and had 25 doctors.

Today, its clinics are spread from Shoreline to Stanwood. The organization has 400 physicians and nearly 343,000 patients.

DaVita’s purchase of The Everett Clinic took effect March 1, 2016. Cooper said he didn’t anticipate there would be plans to sell the organization again so quickly, even in a time of continuing industry consolidation.

A number of hospitals and clinics locally and nationally have been bought or merged with larger organizations.

When it purchased The Everett Clinic, DaVita promised to help it quickly expand.

A $17 million clinic opened in Shoreline in September of last year followed by a $3 million clinic in Thomas Lake in December.

In January it opened a $10 million center clinic in Edmonds and it bought Totem Lake Family Medicine in Kirkland in April. It opened a clinic in Woodinville in July, and plans to open another in Bothell next month. The Woodinville and Bothell clinics each cost about $3 million.

Cooper said that since the deal with Optum is still pending, and his organization is still owned by DaVita, he can’t talk much about details for the future.

“Optum is very comfortable with growth,” Cooper said. “The early signal is they look forward to investing and growing the business, but there are no specific plans I can comment on.”

Plans call for The Everett Clinic to keep its name and to carry forward its existing health insurance contracts, he said.

“Just as we learned much from DaVita, I anticipate we’ll learn much from our work with Optum,” Cooper said. “That’s why I’m optimistic about our future.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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