Dr. Kent F. Richards, a general surgeon with Bryner Clinic and chief of surgery at LDS Hospital, has been named a senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care.

He will replace Dr. Cecil O. Samuelson, who is leaving to fulfill a calling to serve as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Richards will be a member of the IHC Management Committee, along with Scott S. Parker, president, and senior vice presidents Steven D. Kohlert and William H. Nelson."Dr. Richards' years of health care experience will help us position Intermountain Health Care for the future," said Parker. "He not only brings his vast clinical experience; his knowledge of the IHC system will also be extremely valuable."

Richards served as medical staff president at LDS Hospital in 1991. He is currently chief of surgery there.

He has been a member of IHC's Salt Lake Valley Hospital Governing Board since 1991 and was named to the IHC Board of Trustees in 1992. Earlier this year he became a member of the board's Executive Committee.

Richards also chairs the IHC's Clinical Quality Committee and has helped guide the organization's quality efforts, which have gained national recognition.

Richards said he is excited about the future of health care. "I am committed to help integrate physician, hospital, and insurance services to provide the highest quality care in the most cost-effective manner," he said.

IHC is a charitable, nonprofit health care organization based in Salt Lake City, with 24 hospitals, clinics, home health agencies and other facilities as well as health insurance plans.