Jacob Cintron

The board of University Medical Center on Tuesday selected El Pasoan Jacob Cintron to take over as chief executive officer of the county hospital. He starts his new job on July 25.

Cintron comes from HCA’s Del Sol Medical Center, where he had been CEO since 2007. He replaces Jim Valenti at UMC, who said last fall that he would not seek an extension after his contract expired in May. Valenti is retiring after almost 12 years at UMC.

“Having Jacob aboard at UMC is a tremendous relief for all of us,” said Steve DeGroat, UMC board chair, who added that Cintron was the top candidate in UMC’s search. “He has an outstanding reputation and rapport in our medical community as well as our community at large.”

Cintron, who was born at Providence Memorial Hospital, grew up in Central El Paso near Thomason Hospital, now University Medical Center.

He earned three degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso, working his way through college changing light bulbs and painting at the county hospital.

Cintron told El Paso Inc. that he started working at Thomason when he was a junior in high school and stayed there for 17 years. It was more than a job, he said – it was like family. Coworkers taught him to drive and executives later encouraged him to go to college.

He had planned to go into engineering, but he loved working at Thomason and decided to stay in the health care industry. Cintron held executive positions at three major health care systems in Chicago, San Antonio and San Diego, before returning to El Paso to become CEO of Del Sol in 2007.

At UTEP, he earned a bachelor’s in accountancy, a master’s in engineering and an MBA.

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