November 7, 2013

WakeMed forms committee for CEO search

WakeMed Health & Hospitals said Thursday it named a committee to oversee the search for a new CEO.

WakeMed Health & Hospitals said Thursday that it has named a search committee to oversee the hiring of a new CEO.

The vacancy was created in September when WakeMed’s longtime CEO, Bill Atkinson, resigned after a disagreement with the board of directors over the hospital’s direction.

The eight-member search committee is composed largely of members of WakeMed’s board of directors, as well as doctors who practice at WakeMed’s hospitals. A ninth member will be added soon upon selection by the WakeMed Cary Hospital’s medical executive committee.

The WakeMed CEO committee will oversee the search by hiring an executive search firm, interviewing candidates and making a recommendation to the full board. WakeMed expects to hire a permanent leader within 12 months.

Two weeks ago, the 8,500-employee, 884-bed system appointed Donald Gintzig, a U.S. Navy rear admiral and career health care executive, as interim CEO.

WakeMed has hospitals in Raleigh and Cary, and offices and facilities in Wake and Johnston counties.

The regional health care system is coming off its first financial loss in years and expects to break even next year. WakeMed has laid off more than 100 employees this year, canceled executive bonuses and closed money-losing nursing facilities.

WakeMed is also contending with economic pressures that many hospitals face as a result of declining Medicare reimbursements and reliance on free care by indigent and uninsured patients.

Staff writer John Murawski

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