to see new CEO
ENGLEWOOD — Englewood Community Hospital soon will see its new CEO.
Hospital Corporation of America has named Dale F. Alward to take over the reins of the 100-bed ECH on Oct. 1. He comes from the HCA Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Indiana, where he served three years as its CEO and ethics-compliance officer.
“I think it’s great news for the hospital,” said Bob Melvin, an Englewood hospital board member, co-owner of Gasparilla Properties and owner of Bob Melvin Properties. “It shows a commitment to the Englewood community.”
In a press release Wednesday, HCA West Florida Division President Peter A. Marmerstein said, “(Alward’s) health care career spans more than 23 years of serving in a variety of positions within the US Air Force Medical Service and numerous community hospitals.”
Among his accomplishments, Alward earned a master’s degree in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of Virginia in Richmond; a master’s in public administration from Troy State University in Troy, Ala.; and a bachelor’s degree from Regents College in Albany, N.Y.
He is a board-certified fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a lifetime member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Air Force Officers Association.
According to Alward’s LinkedIn Web page, he served as a medical service officer and health care administrator for the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 2007.
While Alward could not be reached Wednesday, he did say in a press release, “I’m absolutely dedicated to help make and keep (Englewood) hospital the best that it can be. Additionally, my wife (Christy) and I are excited to become part of the extended Englewood family and Gulf Coast community.”
Englewood Community Hospital’s former CEO Mary Conroy, who headed up the Englewood hospital for three years, left in November 2011 to take over an Indiana hospital. Fawcett Memorial Hospital CEO Tom Rice acted as the Englewood hospital’s interim CEO since January.
ECH board member, the Rev. Victor B. Willis, said he and other board members had anticipated HCA would name a new CEO, and commended Rice’s tenure as the acting hospital CEO. Willis said he has not met Alward yet.
Marsha Louden, a board member and L.A. Ainger Middle School principal, has met Alward.
“What struck me was his leadership abilities,” Louden said, referring to Alward’s military experience. She also described him as “warm and engaging,” but reiterated how his leadership should benefit the hospital.
“He has a desire to become part of the community,” Louden said. “He realizes Englewood is a diamond in the rough.”
While HCA is making a commitment to Englewood by naming a new CEO, and with other communities seeing hospital closures, Melvin said, “I hope the community continues to support Englewood Community Hospital.”