* H. Ray Welch has been promoted to president and CEO of Mercy Health System, Philadelphia, replacing Gavin Kerr, who left earlier this year to become COO of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Welch, 58, has been Mercy's senior vice president of strategic planning and communications since December 2003. He has a varied healthcare resume, having worked for Aramark Corp. as president of its health support services business and having held management posts for companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacia.
* Howard Chase last week announced plans to retire as president and CEO of Methodist Health System, Dallas, at the end of 2006. Chase, 67, has led the parent of Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Dallas, and the soon-to-be-completed Methodist Mansfield (Texas) Medical Center for a decade.
Whoever takes over the post will find a capital program well under way. The board recently approved a $290 million facility master plan for the system, including renovation of the two existing facilities, the new hospital and future bed expansions.