OLBH CEO announces resignation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

RUSSELL, Ky. - Robert J. Maher, chief executive officer for Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, announced his resignation Wednesday, but hospital officials say the leadership change will not affect its plans to expand into southern Ohio.

Maher, chief executive of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and the Bon Secours Kentucky Health System since 1993, resigned to pursue other opportunities but will serve on a consulting basis through September 12 to help ensure a smooth transition.

Chuck Neumann, senior vice president of operations for the Bon Secours Health System's southeast region, will serve as interim CEO working on the day-to-day operations of the hospital and providing strategic planning support to the hospital's management team.

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Hospital officials credit Maher for being instrumental in developing the hospital's work force, medical staff and facilities as well as expanding into the Ironton area.

Despite the change in leadership, plans for an urgent care facility and relocation of 50 administrative jobs to Ironton will not be affected, said Michael Stautberg, vice president for external affairs for OLBH.

"The Ironton projects are absolutely moving forward," he said. "Our interim CEO is the senior vice president of operations for the southeast region of the Bon Secours Health System, so he is very familiar with all the projects.

"We have nothing but appreciation for the leadership Maher has provided," Stautberg said. "We believe (Neumann) is a good choice for us and are confident that he and the senior management team will provide the leadership to move forward."

Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary agrees that the projects should not be delayed or altered.

"I have had conversations with hospital representatives and I feel confident that the projects are continuing to move ahead," he said. "We have been fine-tuning the floor plans and have filed all the funding applications."

In a written statement released by the hospital, Maher said that he believes now is just the right time to move on to new opportunities.

"As I reflected on completing 10 years in this position and my overall career in health care, I realized that I'm ready to do something different and pursue other goals that are important to me," Maher said.

"I'm proud of what we've accomplished at Our Lady of Bellefonte and believe there is an excellent leadership team in place to guide the hospital in its next phase of growth and outreach."

A selection committee that includes members of the hospital's board of directors, physicians, and the Bon Secours Health System senior management will begin a national search for Maher's full-time replacement.

OLBH employs more than 1,300 people and is a part of the Bon Secours Health System, Inc. of Marriottsville, Md. Bon Secours is a $2.3 billion not-for-profit Catholic health system that owns, manages or joint ventures 24 health care facilities, primarily on the East Coast.