Lia Christiansen has been named Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Valleywise Health, Arizona’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care. Christiansen most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for Acute Care for Minnesota Health Fairview in Minneapolis. She will join Valleywise Health’s senior executive team Feb. 22.
“I am thrilled to have someone of Lia’s caliber joining our team,” said Steve Purves, Valleywise Health President and CEO. “With over 25 years of experience, she combines a keen business sense with real passion for health care and compassion for people. We are delighted to welcome her to Valleywise Health as we continue the transformation of our community’s public health care system.”
As CAO, Christiansen’s responsibilities will include overseeing support departments and services, including HR, IT, Marketing/Communications, Environmental and Facilities services, planning, and Care Reimagined Construction and Integrated Project Management Office activities. She will work with hospital leaders, members of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors, District Medical Group physicians and the community to advance the health care system’s ever increasing levels of service to patients and the community.
“I’m honored to be joining Valleywise Health and the outstanding team of leaders, clinicians, staff and physicians,” Christiansen said. “The rich history of serving families for more than 140 years and vision of transforming care to improve the health of the community through innovation is inspiring. I am excited to work with hospital leaders, physicians, employees, volunteers and community members to find new ways we can serve our region and positively impact the lives of people. It’s an exciting time in the growth of Valleywise Health and I can’t wait to get started.”
During her time as COO at M Health Fairview, Christiansen had responsibility for operations in five acute care hospitals with 796 licensed beds, $670 million in net operating revenue, 36,500 inpatient admits and 4,500 FTEs. Prior to her role with M Health Fairview, she worked in the HealthEast Care system in St. Paul, Minnesota serving as the Vice President for Hospital Operations overseeing three hospitals and as the Vice President of Shared Operations leading ancillary and support departments for the system. HealthEast merged with M Health Fairview in 2017.
Christiansen earned a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Concordia College, Moorehead, MN, and a master’s degree in business, communications from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. She was a COO fellow in the Health Management Academy in 2019-2020, is Lean Bronze certified and has training in FEMA incident command. She was named by the Minnesota/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the 25 Women to Watch and was recognized by Minnesota Physician Magazine as an Exceptional Administrator.
She and her husband have three young adult children.