10 notable CEO transitions this year 

Becker's Hospital Review reported on CEO transitions at hospitals and health systems across the U.S. in 2021. 

While one move stood out for the CEO's unusually short tenure, others stood out because they marked retirements after decades with an organization.

Here are 10 of this year's hospital and health system CEO moves that captured the attention of Becker's readers:

1. Darren Lee resigned from his role as president and CEO of two Dignity Health hospitals in California, the Pacific Coast Business Times reported Oct. 29. Mr. Lee had led St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and St. John's Hospital in Camarillo for seven years and had been with San Francisco-based Dignity Health system for 20. During his tenure, he led multimillion-dollar construction projects at both facilities. The health system did not provide a reason for Mr. Lee's resignation to the publication.

2. Brett McClung had served as president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Baptist Health for just under two years before resigning on May 1. In a statement obtained by the Florida Times-Union, Mr. McClung said, "This was a difficult decision that I reached after much reflection. It has been a privilege working with what I consider to be the best healthcare team in Northeast Florida, and I am proud of all we have accomplished together." The organization's president, Michael Mayo, was made an interim replacement. Before joining Baptist Health in July 2019, Mr. McClung was executive vice president and chief operations leader for the north zone of Arlington-based Texas Health Resources.

3. Joe DeSchryver resigned as CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Good Samaritan Hospital on March 2. His resignation came more than a month after county officials sanctioned the hospital for providing second doses of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of high-priority groups. A spokesperson for the hospital's parent company, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, said Mr. DeSchryver resigned to pursue other opportunities outside of HCA. Before joining Good Samaritan in January 2017, Mr. DeSchryver was CEO of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif., part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. 

4. Audrey Gregory, PhD, left her role as CEO of Detroit Medical Center in October to join Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth. Saum Sutaria, MD, CEO of the hospital's parent company Tenet Healthcare, wrote in a letter to staff, "Audrey recently came to me to discuss a material change in her personal life, related to the care requirements of family members of hers ... sadly, she will need to move away from Detroit and leave the DMC as her extended family is in Florida." Dr. Gregory joined the Detroit Medical Center as CEO in October 2019. She had previously served in a variety of leadership roles throughout the Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare network for 15 years.

5. Lyle Sheldon, president and CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, announced he would retire in December after 26 years as the Bel Air, Md.-based health system's top executive. During his tenure, he oversaw the 2013 merger with Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System as well as the creation of the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, which provides addiction and mental health services to the community. "Servant leader is the best way to describe my leadership style," Mr. Sheldon said in a news release."The entire team are experts in their respective fields, and their talent and dedication have allowed such tremendous growth over the years. Who could ask for more? I am proud and humbled that, together, we were able to accomplish so much for our community."

6. Will Wagnon resigned in July as CEO of St. John's Health in Jackson Hole, Wyo., after six months in the role. No reason was given for his resignation, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. The newspaper reported that Mr. Wagnon's severance package was $1 million as part of his contract terms. Dave Robertson currently is at the helm of St. John's Health.

7. Susan Sandberg, RN, resigned as CEO of Medford, Mass.-based MelroseWakefield Healthcare. In a note sent to staff, Ms. Sandberg said she made the decision with her husband to move to Colorado to be closer to their children. Ms. Sandberg was appointed CEO of MelroseWakefield Healthcare in August 2018 after serving as COO of UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C. According to the health system website, Pamela Whelton currently serves as interim CEO of MelroseWakefield Healthcare

8. Mike Mullins left his role as CEO of Huntington, W.Va.-based Mountain Health Network to pursue other opportunities, the health system said May 20. Prior to leaving the role, Mr. Mullins had helmed Mountain Health Network since March 2019. He was the first permanent CEO of the health system, which formed following Cabell Huntington Hospital's acquisition of Huntington-based St. Mary's Medical Center. The health system comprises Cabell Huntington, St. Mary's Medical Center, Hoops Family Children's Hospital within Cabell Huntington, a multispecialty physician group and a management agreement with Pleasant Valley Hospital.

9. Michael Stenger, CEO of Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City, Ariz., resigned from his role in October, citing personal reasons. He left after serving as permanent CEO since January 2019. Scott Street, who resigned in August as CEO of El-Dorado-based Medical Center of South Arkansas, was named interim CEO.

10. Lloyd Dean, CEO of 140-hospital CommonSpirit Health, said this year that he is retiring in summer 2022. Mr. Dean served as the CEO of Dignity Health, previously Catholic Healthcare West, for 19 years. He then led Chicago-based CommonSpirit with former Catholic Health Initiatives CEO Kevin Lofton when CommonSpirit was formed from the merger of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives in February 2019. Mr. Dean became the sole CEO of CommonSpirit in July 2020 after Mr. Lofton officially retired

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