Eddie George, the only top executive in Wellmont Health System's eight-year history, will step down at the end of the year. George, 63, had planned to stay on as president and CEO of the Kingsport, Tenn., system for another year or two and groom a successor, who would start as executive vice president and COO. As the search progressed, Wellmont found that top candidates did not like the uncertainty of the transition period, prompting George to agree to step down earlier, the system says. The five-hospital system is looking for a system president to start work this fall and add the CEO title at year-end. George will be available to consult with the new CEO for six months after his retirement. George was president of Bristol (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center when it merged with Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, in 1996 to form Wellmont. ... Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn., has elected two new directors, John Fry and H. Mitchell Watson Jr. Fry is president of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., and was an executive vice president at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from 1995 to 2002. Watson is president of Sigma Group of America, a Jupiter, Fla., consulting company. Before founding Sigma Group in 1992, Watson spent more than two decades working for IBM Corp. and for a joint venture owned by IBM and Siemens. ... Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Van Nuys, Calif., appointed two former Tenet Healthcare Corp. executives to the posts of CFO and COO. Tracey Talley, Tenet's former regional vice president of finance, was named CFO; he replaces Terry Leggett, who retired after 23 years of service. Phyllis Bushart, former COO at Tenet's Tarzana (Calif.) Regional Medical Center, was named to the newly formed position of COO at 290-bed Valley Presbyterian. ... Robert Thames, 44, has been named executive vice president of ambulatory services and strategic partnerships of St. Anthony's Medical Center, St. Louis. He had served as a consultant with Health Evolutions/Ascension Health, St. Louis. ... Mark Jaeger, 47, has been named executive vice president and COO of
St. Anthony's Health Center, Alton, Ill. He had served as executive in residence of mission integration at the national office of Ascension Health System, St. Louis. Jaeger replaces Brad Neet, who became president and COO of St. Michael's Hospital, Stevens Point, Wis. ...
St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis has appointed Michalene Maringer to the new position of executive vice president and chief hospital officer. Maringer, 50, had been assistant administrator and chief nurse officer at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Ill. ... Jeffrey Flaks, 33, has been named executive vice president and COO of MidState Medical Center, Meriden, Conn. He had served as vice president of support services and strategic initiatives at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, New York. Flaks replaces Erik Wexler, who left to take a post at LifeBridge Health, Baltimore.
Max Cohen has been named chief medical officer of New York University Hospitals Center, which includes Tisch Hospital and the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and is part of NYU Medical Center. Cohen, who had been CMO of Missouri Baptist Medical Center, replaces Eric Rackow, now president of NYU Hospitals Center. ... The Watts Health Foundation/UHP Healthcare, a Los Angeles-based HMO, has named John Polston, 62, senior medical director. He had served as the California statewide medical director for Universal Care, Signal Hills, Calif. Polston replaces Darryl Leong, who left to pursue other opportunities. ... Charles Fazio has been appointed chief medical officer and senior vice president at Medica, Minnesota's largest HMO and PPO. Fazio had served as vice president and medical director of care and quality management at the Minnetonka-based payer, which claims 1.2 million members working with 24,000 providers.