Midtown Raleigh News

WakeMed appoints Navy Rear Admiral as interim CEO

Donald Gintzig, WakeMed interim CEO
Donald Gintzig, WakeMed interim CEO WakeMed

WakeMed Health & Hospitals is turning to a Navy rear admiral and career health care executive to be interim CEO while the 884-bed system looks for a permanent leader.

WakeMed’s board voted Wednesday night to appoint Donald Gintzig as interim president and CEO effective Friday. Gintzig retired from the Navy less than four weeks ago, where he served as acting deputy surgeon general, and has served as CEO of a half-dozen hospital and health care systems.

“Donald’s vast experience and strengths in strategic planning, quality improvement, financial performance and physician relationships make him the right individual for this job,” WakeMed board Chair William McBride said in a statement.

WakeMed officials, who recently announced the health system’s first financial loss in years, said they would not make Gintzig available for an interview or provide additional information about him beyond Thursday’s press release.

Earlier this year, Gintzig was a finalist for the CEO job with Erlanger Health System, the 813-bed teaching center affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He was passed over for that slot in February.

Gintzig was a commanding officer and a reservist in the Navy until his retirement from active duty Oct. 1. As a civilian, Gintzig’s CEO stints include St. Thomas Health Service in Tennessee, Pottsville Hospital & Warne Clinic in Pennsylvania, Schuylkill Health Care Services in Pennsylvania, Lutheran General Hospital in Texas, Brazosport Memorial Hospital in Texas and United Health Group in Minnesota.

Raleigh-based WakeMed fired previous CEO Bill Atkinson last month after 10 years, citing differences on the future direction of the organization.

WakeMed said it plans to find a permanent CEO in the next 12 months.