MED MOVES: Ohio State cancer center CEO plans to retire, and more

Care New England Health's chief executive is stepping down and HCA Healthcare names a new president for its MidAmerica division.

After a career spanning nearly five decades, William B. Farrar, CEO of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-– Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, is planning to retire.

Farrar plans to retire June 30, the university announced.

During his 46-year tenure at the cancer center, Farrar performed more than 20,000 surgeries on patients with nearly every kind of malignancy, except brain cancer, the university said.

Later in his career, he focused on breast cancer care and conducting research.

Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson said Farrar’s work has had “an immeasurable impact on patients, their families, his colleagues and in our communities.”

“He has seen our cancer program rise to national prominence and played an integral part in its development,” Johnson said in a statement. She also noted he held several leadership posts while continuing to treat patients one-on-one.

Ferrar has held a host of top leadership positions. He served as director of The Ohio State University College of Medicine for 28 years. He spent 22 years as director of medical affairs at the Ohio State cancer center. He became interim CEO of the cancer hospital in 2017 and was named as chief executive in 2019.

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 clinical studies published in scientific journals.

Raphael Pollock, director of the Ohio State cancer center, said in a news release that Farrar cares deeply for his patients.

“He’s a surgeon’s surgeon who performs at the highest level of technical commitment, but equally important are his personal humility, his quiet and professional persona, his quick smile and his very big heart,” Pollock said.

Care New England health leader is stepping down

James E. Fanale has announced his plans to retire as president and CEO of Care New England Health early next year.

After retiring, Fanale plans to continue in a consulting role to guide his successor and advise the board. The system said Fanale and board members will lead a search panel to find a new chief executive.

“Now, after having spent my career doing what I enjoy and feeling that I’ve effectively improved access to state-of-the-art healthcare for all individuals who come to CNE, it’s time to leave the office behind and be with my wonderful wife and children,” Fanale said in a statement.

Charles Reppucci, Care New England’s board chairman, thanked Fanale for his years of leadership.

“He is a stalwart supporter of CNE and a respected community leader on healthcare quality and accessibility.  His successes and accomplishments are extraordinary,” Reppucci said in a statement.

Care New England Health is the parent organization of Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Care New England Medical Group, the VNA of Care New England, The Providence Center, and Integra, an accountable care organization.

HCA Healthcare names president of MidAmerica division

Keith Zimmerman has been named the president of HCA Healthcare’s MidAmerica Division, based in Kansas City, Missouri.

HCA Healthcare announced the move last week. Zimmerman will take the post June 13 and lead seven hospitals and a host of other care sites in the Kansas City metro area. He replaces Mel Lagarde, who is retiring after 40 years with HCA Healthcare.

Zimmerman possesses 31 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Since 2017, he has served as CEO of Medical City Arlington, which has received five consecutive “A” grades from the Leapfrog Group, a group focused on patient safety.

He previously served as CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital, and previously led business development efforts for Medical City Dallas Hospital and Medical City Children’s. He also held leadership posts at other healthcare providers.

Jon Foster, president of HCA Healthcare’s American Group, hailed Zimmerman’s “track

record of strong physician collaboration and a laser focus on clinical quality.”

“His past experience and proven leadership skills will serve him well in his new role,” Zimmerman said in a statement.

Allina Health names president of two hospitals

Josh Shepherd has been selected as the new president of two of Allina Health’s hospitals: Buffalo Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center.

Shepherd is succeeding Kelly Spratt, who was recently promoted to vice president of operations at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Shepherd previously served as the director of operations at Buffalo Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center.

"I am honored to lead a remarkable group of caregivers at Buffalo Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center,” Shepherd said in a statement.

“I am proud of the work our teams have accomplished and how we’ve pulled together during two of the most difficult years in memory for health care workers,” he said. “I look forward to continuing Allina Health’s transformation to improve the health care experience for all of our patients and communities.”

Shepherd has held leadership roles in healthcare for more than 17 years, including with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah and Mercy Health in Janesville, Wisconsin. Before joining Allina Health, Shepherd served as assistant vice president of clinical operations with Intermountain Healthcare.

RWJ Barnabas Health hospital president plans to retire

Anthony V. Cava said he is planning to retire from his position as president and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

Cava plans to retire effective Jan. 2, 2023. Patrick Delaney, the hospital’s chief operating officer, will succeed Cava as the hospital’s chief administrative officer, RWJBarnabas Health said.

Cava possesses 35 years of healthcare leadership experience. He joined Somerset in January 2015 and led the hospital through the merger of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Barnabas Health 14 months later. He oversaw expansive renovations that modernized virtually every part of the hospital campus.

Delaney joined RWJUH Somerset in March 2015 as administrative director of operations and eventually became chief operating officer in 2020. Delaney also led the hospital’s operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing testing and vaccination clinics. He also helped lead the hospital’s transition to the Epic electronic health record system in 2021.

Delaney previously held leadership positions at Bayshore Community Hospital.

Bill Arnold, executive vice president, southern region, RWJBarnabas Health, and president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital praised both Cava and Delaney for their leadership.

“Patrick Delaney has worked side-by-side with Tony for the past seven years and brings a broad knowledge and passion for health care operations and business development,” Arnold said in a statement. “He will continue to build on the hospital’s tradition of clinical excellence, positioning it for future growth and ensuring that Central New Jersey residents have access to the highest quality medical care.”

Wisconsin system names chief nursing officer of 2 hospitals

Beth Sekerka has been named chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care for Wisconsin-based Aspirus Health’s southeast division.

Sekerka will oversee nursing operations at two hospitals: Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital and Aspirus Plover Hospital.

She has spent 26 years in nursing and has experience in acute rehabilitation, medical/surgical nursing, intensive care nursing, and hospital supervision.

For the past decade, she has held hospital leadership roles, including medical/surgical manager, inpatient director, and interim vice president/chief nursing officer.

“I enjoy working with leaders and frontline care teams to make the needed enhancements to provide safe, high-quality care for the patients of our community,” Sekerka said in a statement.

Sekerka has been a nurse since 1996 and earned her master of science in nursing degree from Capella University in June 2021. She and her husband and three children live in Rosholt. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and gardening.