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Michael Stewart

Barstow Community Hospital CEO resigning

BARSTOW • Barstow Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer Michael Stewart will be leaving at the end of May, but hospital officials say that his departure will not affect the construction of the new hospital.

Stewart will be leaving BCH on May 27 and will take an interim chief operating officer position at DeTar Health System in Victoria, Texas, according to a statement. Stewart started working as Barstow Community Hospital’s CEO in April 2008.

BCH Board of Trustees chairperson Sandy Baca said Wednesday that the hospital expects to have an interim CEO in place by June 1. The hospital will soon start a national search for Stewart's replacement and the board of trustees, medical staff, and hospital leaders will be involved in the selection process, according to the statement.

Stewart said that leaving BCH will be bittersweet, but the new position will allow him to be closer to his family.

“I have been offered an exciting opportunity within the same company that will return me to my roots and family in Texas,” said Stewart in a statement. “My excitement is tempered by my regrets of having to leave Barstow and the many friends I've made over the past three years — both at the hospital and within the community.”

Stewart and Baca both said that Stewart's departure will not affect the construction of the new hospital, which is still set for completion late 2012.

“With my departure, the community can continue to be confident in the hospital's future and building of the new hospital,” said Stewart.

Baca said in the statement that the board of trustees will miss Stewart because of his help guiding the hospital during the past three years.

“He's guided our hospital to do big things in his three years,” said Baca. “We are happy for Michael's growth opportunity and appreciate how much he has done for our hospital and the community in general. He’s made a very positive impact during his time in Barstow.”

One of the newest physicians to the area said that Stewart’s skill as a CEO was one of the reasons he decided to move his obstetrics and gynecology practice to Barstow.

“Michael was probably the final piece that made me feel comfortable about coming here,” said Dr. James Pinto, who added that he was sure the next CEO would also do a great job.

Kenneth Courtney, a Board of Trustees member, said Stewart helped take the hospital to another level.

“I’m sure the next CEO will enjoy the fruits of Michael’s and previous CEO’s labor,” said Courtney. “They’ll work upon the foundation that Michael laid.”

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