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Fowler stepping down as CEO

Move not related to recent merger, spokesman says


BARSTOW • The CEO of Barstow Community Hospital is resigning at the end of January.

Sean Fowler will step down at the end of the month to accept a CEO position at another hospital in Southern California. BCH spokesman John Rader said Fowler is unable to give details at this time about what hospital he is going to “because the current hospital leadership hasn’t been notified about the changes yet.”

Rader said Fowler’s new hospital is not part of Community Health Systems, the company that owns BCH. 

CHS was involved in a multibillion-dollar merger last week when it acquired Health Management Associates. Rader said there is no correlation between the merger and Fowler stepping down.

Fowler began his tenure as CEO in July 2011.

Hospital board president Sandy Baca praised Fowler in a news release, calling Fowler “instrumental in the growth and development of the organization.”

“Most notably, Sean oversaw the completion — and smooth transition to — our beautiful new facility,” Baca said. “He also succeeded in getting our area designated as a Healthcare Professional Shortage Area, which will help with improving community members’ local access to physicians, and the recruitment of more physicians like Pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth DeMango.”

BCH will conduct a national search for a new CEO, with leaders from the hospital board, medical staff and hospital management team weighing in on the decision.

Steven Foster, the CEO of sister hospital Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City, will serve as interim CEO.

“To help maintain our momentum, we are fortunate that Steven Foster, an executive from a sister hospital, will serve as interim CEO until a new leader is named,” Baca said.

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