Release Date: Nov 10, 2023

SHELTON, WA – Effective January 2024, Mason Health’s Senior Leadership Team is undergoing a new transition — longtime Chief Medical Officer Dean Gushee, MD, will be retiring after more than 30 years at Mason Health, while Darren Cuevas, DO, joins the team as the new Chief Medical Officer, a reflection of Mason Health’s ongoing dedication to fostering a positive and collaborative culture. Mason Health proudly welcomes Dr. Cuevas to the Senior Leadership Team and thanks Dr. Gushee for his exemplary years of service.

“We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Gushee, our retiring Chief Medical Officer,” Moll said. “Dr. Gushee’s remarkable 30-plus year career with Mason Health has been marked by transformative achievements and a steadfast commitment to excellence. Under his leadership, our institution has evolved and flourished, witnessing incredible improvements and innovations that have significantly impacted patient care and our community’s well-being.”

Gushee joined Mason Health in August 1993 and served as the medical director for the Emergency Department for 22 years, before transitioning to become the Chief Medical Officer in February 2015. He is board-certified in emergency medicine from the University of California San Francisco, a fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians and completed a teaching fellowship through the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. In addition to his medical pursuits, Dr. Gushee also has a master’s degree in oceanography from Oregon State University and has delighted patients, staff and community members alike with his travels across the globe, swimming with sharks and photographing penguins. In fact, Dr. Gushee has traveled extensively across the globe with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic as the attending physician and photographer for more than 60 voyages beginning in 2001. To read more about one of Dr. Gushee’s adventures to Antarctica follow the following link to the 2012 issue of SCOPE Magazine.

Dr. Cuevas joined Mason Health in September 2018. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathic training at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, and completed his Family Medicine Residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital, University of Minnesota in St. Paul. In 2022, he became certified in diving medicine by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society, and can now follow up with patients about diving concerns and complete recreational physicals for dive medicine. In 2023, Dr. Cuevas won the Leadership in Rural Medicine Health Care Champion Award from the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and Thurston-Mason Medical Society.

“Dr. Cuevas brings an exceptional blend of leadership, collaboration, and dedication to his new role,” said Mason Health Chief Executive Officer Eric Moll. “Over his tenure with Mason Health, he has consistently demonstrated a commitment to patient care, innovative practices, and the growth and development of our medical staff. His ability to lead by example, foster open communication, and drive positive change will undoubtedly elevate our medical team and contribute to our continued success. His approach to enhancing our healthcare services and nurturing a supportive environment aligns perfectly with our organization’s mission and values.”

Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County, is celebrating 55 years of serving patients and the community this year. Mason Health is ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. Mason General Hospital and Mason Clinic are ENERGY STAR® certified and Mason Health is the recipient of three Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Awards and a Greening the OR Environmental Excellence Award. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit To learn more about DNV, visit


Gushee D1353

Dr. Dean Gushee, MD

Cuevas Direct Email Photo 2018

Dr. Darren Cuevas, DO