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Health Management Associates makes local, corporate personnel changes

By , - Last modified: May 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Deborah Willwerth. Photo/Submitted
Deborah Willwerth. Photo/Submitted

The leader of Health Management Associates Inc. has announced his retirement, and a Lancaster County facility that is part of the for-profit hospital chain is getting a new administrator.

Florida-based HMA, through its subsidiaries, operates 71 hospitals with approximately 11,100 licensed beds in non-urban communities throughout the United States. Two are in Lancaster County and one is in Cumberland County. Shares of HMA are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HMA.

Gary D. Newsome will retire as HMA's president, CEO and member of the board of directors, effective July 31. According to a news release, he has been called by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as president of its Uruguay-Montevideo Mission in South America. The board has initiated a search for a new leader.

"I am proud of our accomplishments over the past five years as we've transformed Health Management into a vibrant, innovative company that is well-positioned and on a clear path to great success," Newsome said. "My family and my faith have always been the most important parts of my life and it is a rare privilege to serve in Uruguay, a place that has remained in my heart since I served my first mission there more than 35 years ago. I am sincerely grateful for the support I've received from the Health Management board of directors, management team, and our associates and physicians."

Deborah Willwerth will become administrator of Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center on June 3, filling the role vacated by James Machado, who recently moved to Georgia to become CEO of a hospital in Monroe. Willwerth previously worked at HLRMC as chief nursing officer from 2002-08 and has most recently been employed by HLRMC sister hospital Lancaster Regional Medical Center as chief operating officer.

Willwerth has been in health care for 32 years, beginning as a critical care RN. She received her BSN degree from Millersville and her MSN from Widener University. She serves on the board for Patient Access of Lancaster County and is a member of the service committee for the SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, a federally qualified health center in downtown Lancaster.

Bob Moore, who serves as CEO for both HLRMC and LRMC, said the hospital is happy to have Willwerth returning as "she understands and fully embraces our hospitals' mission to provide compassionate personalized care to every patient every time and will continue to be a tremendous asset to our organization in her new role."

"Returning to Heart feels like a homecoming for me," said Willwerth. "I was here when Community Hospital of Lancaster transitioned to Lititz and became Heart of Lancaster. It is great to see faces that I knew when I was here as well as see how much the facility has grown. I am excited to be a part of the continued success at Heart of Lancaster."

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