To replace retiring CEO Gail Warden, six-hospital Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, picked Warden protege Nancy Schlichting, 48, who will be the healthcare system's first woman CEO. Warden, who turns 65 next month, is retiring in June after a 15-year tenure. An influential leader of several healthcare organizations, he will continue to work with Schlichting for the remainder of the year. Schlichting, a former Modern Healthcare Up & Comer who joined Henry Ford in 1998, is the system's executive vice president and COO, as well as president and CEO of 668-bed Henry Ford Hospital. She previously served as executive vice president and COO at Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, among other positions. Warden called Schlichting the "perfect choice" to lead Henry Ford, saying, "Nancy is a talented, effective leader with a high level of integrity." A former chairman of the American Hospital Association's board of trustees and a past chairman of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Warden announced in mid-January that he planned to step down either later this year or in 2004. -- by Michael Romano
Henry Ford names its first woman chief executive
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