Hank Walker, president and CEO of Providence Health System, Seattle, is not coming back from sabbatical and is officially retiring at the end of April, officials announced. John Koster, executive vice president and COO, has been named acting president and CEO. Walker, 57, has headed Providence since 1997 and has been on sabbatical since October 2003. A system spokeswoman said Walker simply decided it was time to retire. Officials credit him with improving the system's finances, turning around a net loss of $28 million in 1998 to a net profit of $177 million in 2003. Providence operates more than 50 hospitals in Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington. -- by Cinda Becker
Providence Health CEO Hank Walker to retire
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