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Barto to Head New Venture Capital Group at Catholic Health Initiatives

Nicholas Barto, who has led finance, strategy and private equity projects in the global health care arena for nearly two decades, has been named managing director of the Catholic Health Initiatives Venture Capital Group, which will identify strategic partnerships, investment opportunities and growth activities for the nation’s second-largest faith-based health care system.

Barto, formerly senior vice president for financial planning and analysis at Charlotte, N.C.-based Novant Health Inc., will oversee a potential portfolio of approximately $200 million, providing strategic financial leadership in key areas such as private equity investments and mergers and acquisitions. As part of CHI’s National Transactions Team, Barto will work closely with CHI’s strategy and research leaders in this newly created position, identifying early stage companies that offer capabilities consistent with the strategic needs of CHI.

“Nick has a long, stellar background in translating vision into action,” said Dean Swindle, CHI’s executive vice president, business services and chief financial officer. “His expertise in strategic finance will help CHI identify new partnerships, investments and growth areas as we embark on the “new normal” and the many changes we face with health care reform.”

Barto had worked since 2004 with Novant, a $4 billion integrated health care system that includes 13 acute-care hospitals, a 1,200-member physician group and more than 130 ambulatory sites. Since 2008, when he assumed his role as senior vice president for financial planning and analysis, Barto served as a key member of a senior leadership team that doubled the size of the health system through acquisitions and a wide range of business opportunities, restructurings and partnerships. He led the execution of a clinical affiliation agreement with the Cleveland Clinic, and directed partnerships on shared services in several areas, including supply chain, technology and lab services.

When CHI’s Venture Capital Group is fully developed, it is expected to include as many as eight investment professionals who will help to develop financing and ownership models to enable the commercialization of services such as clinical engineering, revenue cycle, supply chain, information technology and managed care payer strategies. The group will work closely with CHI’s Institute for Research and Innovation, Strategic Planning and the Employed Physician Integration Council.

“I’m very excited to join CHI, which is known throughout the industry for innovative, forward-looking ventures like CIRI,” said Barto, 40. “ CHI’s leadership has demonstrated the need for thinking creatively in complex projects involving private equity, venture capital and a host of other financial strategies as we all grapple with dramatic change in the way we do business, fulfill our mission and work to better serve our patients and communities.”

Before joining Novant Health, Barto was with the Charlotte-based merger-and-acquisition firm McColl Partners. Prior to that, he worked for Lehman Brothers in both New York and London, and he has also served as an advisor, researcher and consultant to health care clients across the global health care industry. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Columbia Business School in New York.

About Catholic Health Initiatives: Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 76 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2011, CHI provided more than $612 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of more than $10.5 billion, CHI is the nation's second-largest Catholic health care system.

Nick has a long, stellar background in translating vision into action. His expertise in strategic finance will help CHI identity new partnerships, investment and growth areas as we embark on the “new normal” and the many changes we face with health care reform.

- Dean Swindle, CHI’s executive vice president

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