The chief executive of Glendale Adventist Medical Center is resigning after nearly five years to take a similar job in his home state of Colorado.

Morre Dean, 42, president and chief executive of Glendale Adventist, told staff in what was described as an emotional meeting Thursday morning that he will leave the 450-bed hospital Aug. 5 for the same position at the 160-bed Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, Colo., south of Denver.

“I love the people at Glendale Adventist,” Dean said. “They have a tremendous vision for growth and it is has been my pleasure to lead that team for the last five years. The compelling reason to take the job was to bring my family back to Colorado.”

Dean joined Glendale Adventist in November 2006 and oversaw the master planning for the campus expansion and launch of several new initiatives. During his tenure, the hospital added 118 new acute-care beds, a spine and orthopedic center, a clinical research department and an ambulatory care center.

The hospital also became a smoke-free workplace and launched the Glendale Downtown Dash, an annual fundraising run.

Dean said he was proud of supervising the completion of a new emergency room and pathology lab, as well as seeing patient satisfaction scores improve. A major challenge in the job included dealing with the low rates of reimbursement California hospitals receive from the federal Medicare program, he added.

“California is one of the poorest-reimbursed states and is highly regulated,” he said. “Balancing those things takes tremendous effort on the part of the team.”

Dean has also served on the Glendale Chamber of Commerce board of directors and earlier this year was named CEO of the Year.

Chamber President Rick Lemmo, of Caruso Affiliated, said Dean will be missed for his soft-spoken nature and hard work.

“He always had a way to listen and make a recommendation, and never really forced a hard decision, but helped people come to a consensus,” Lemmo said.

With initiatives such as supporting Glendale Arts or other nonprofit causes, Lemmo said, “Some people show up and make a speech. He showed up and rolled up his sleeves.”

Before coming to Glendale, Dean worked for Denver-area hospitals run by Englewood, Colo.-based Centura Health, which also owns Parker Adventist Hospital. He then moved to Washington and spent seven years as chief executive of Walla Walla General Hospital.

A search for Dean’s replacement has begun, according to Robert Carmen, chief executive of Roseville-based Adventist Health, which runs Glendale Adventist and 17 other hospitals.