St. Elizabeth Hospital President Dennis Popp is transitioning toward retirement, a news release says.
Popp, who has successfully led efforts to expand medical services in the area for 25 years, has not set a specific date, giving the Franciscan Health System time to nationally recruit his successor.
Popp has been a health care leader in Enumclaw since 1985, when he became chief administrator of then-Community Memorial Hospital in Enumclaw. He guided the hospital as it expanded services to meet the needs of the growing community. He also helped to recruit many of the physicians who practice in the Enumclaw area today.
Additionally, Popp had a critical role in Enumclaw’s hospital earning Critical Access Hospital designation from the federal government in 2004, which helped stabilize the facility’s economic base.
“I would not trade the past 25 years for anything,”said Popp, who received the 2008 Joe Hopkins Memorial Award for leadership from the Washington State Hospital Association.
Popp was also extensively involved in Enumclaw Regional Hospital’s affiliation with the Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System in May 2007. That affiliation led to construction of St. Elizabeth Hospital, which opened in February 2011 and replaced aging Enumclaw Regional Hospital. Popp provided executive leadership for the $75 million project, and he has served as president of St. Elizabeth since its opening.
“The Enumclaw community will always have a special place in my heart,” Popp says in the news release. “Still, the time is right for me to begin looking toward the next chapter in my life and career.”
St. Elizabeth Hospital, 1455 Battersby Ave., has about 270 employees. It is licensed for 38 beds, but operates with 25 beds and four patient observation rooms.