Salem hospital CEO steps down

SALEM – A new Chief Executive Officer was named at Salem Community Hospital on Friday after the board accepted the resignation of Steven Ruwoldt, who served as CEO over the last year.

The board of directors named Anita Hackstedde, M.D., as interim President/CEO and the change was effective immediately.

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Steve Ruwoldt for his service to the Hospital during the past year. I would also like to express the board’s appreciation to Dr. Hackstedde and thank her for accepting this important role as our new Chief Executive Officer,” Board Chairman Derek Hiscox said in a statement.

The press release listed Vice President of Marketing and Planning Deborah Pietrzak as a contact, and she was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for the hospital did not respond to additional questions, and said the hospital has no further comment on Ruwoldt’s resignation.

Ruwoldt was appointed CEO in March of 2012 and replaced Howard Rohleder who retired. His prior experience included serving as CEO for Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris, N.Y.

Hackstedde has been on the hospital staff since 2006, when she was hired as Vice President of Medical Affairs. Since then she has also served in other leadership functions such as overseeing the medical staff office, physician relations, quality improvement, infection control, risk management and laboratory services.

She was only recently called on to lead the hospital’s initiative to successfully implement an electronic medical record designed to improve patient safety and the management of patient information, according to the release.

Hackstedde completed her medical degree at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics.

Hiscox said she has “demonstrated valuable leadership abilities” and the board has great confidence in her ability to handle the new position.

The remainder of the hospital’s leadership team will remain the same, he added.

That team consists of Vice President of Finance Michael Giangardella, Vice President of Nursing and Human Resources Barbara Hirst, Vice President of Institutional Advancement LuAnn Haddad, and Pietrzak.

“It has been my privilege to work closely with our dedicated staff and highly-skilled physicians as the Vice President of Medical Affairs. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to working with the hospital team, medical staff, board and community, as we continue to provide high-quality, compassionate care, that is enhanced with innovation and advanced technology,” Hackstedde said in a statement.

She is taking the helm of the hospital in the midst of new changes, including the $42.5 million project to have a new patient tower operational by January of 2014.

The tower will offer 87 private rooms and is being built on the east side of the existing hospital in front of the cafeteria and surgery center. The ground floor will feature a gift shop and coffee shop, with classroom space and access to a two-level parking deck located below the patient floors. It will replace the double occupancy rooms housed in the existing medical/surgical wing built in the 1970s.

The extensive project is being funded with a loan and money the hospital has set aside. A groundbreaking was held in June of last year.

“Salem Community Hospital is looking forward to a number of exciting opportunities, including the launch of our new bed tower,” Hiscox said.

He also said the hospital recently completed a strategic plan for future growth and the board recognizes Hackstedde’s “valuable leadership role in carrying this vision forward.”

“My professional objective at SCH has been to collaborate with our physicians and professional staff to deliver excellent health care to the people in the communities we serve, with quality care as our cornerstone,” Hackstedde said.

Referring to the hospital’s 100-year anniversary next month, she said, “It is an honor to be selected for this leadership at such an exciting milestone in the hospital’s history.”