Hospital CEO hopes to retain community’s support, trust

ENGLEWOOD — Englewood Community Hospital introduced Dale F. Alward as its new CEO at a welcoming ceremony Tuesday at the Suncoast Auditorium.

Alward took over from Interim CEO Tom Rice, who held the position since January. Prior to Rice, Mary Ann Conroy was CEO for three years.

“I am excited to be a part of this vibrant community, and very appreciative of the welcome and support I am receiving as I get out and meet people,” Alward said.

Alward’s prior experience includes more than 23 years with the U.S. Air Force Medical Service and numerous community hospitals. He served as chief operating officer and ethics and compliance officer at Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind.

Englewood Community Hospital is one of the largest employers in the area, contributing more than $34 million to the community in 2011 including taxes, salaries, wages, benefits, local vendor support, capital investments and uncompensated care, Alward said. He projects 2012 to be similar.

Kathy Pace, the chief nursing officer at ECH, said Alward will provide a good foundation for the hospital.

“Having a leader is important,” Pace said. “It’s really exciting to have the new CEO and start on new programs.”

The hospital recently added a drug and alcohol detox program.

B.J. Simpson, a former patient and supporter of the hospital, said she attended ceremony because she wanted to meet Alward.

“He seemed very nice,” Simpson said. “Every time we hear a negative thing about the hospital, I remind them that they take care of my husband and myself. I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.”

Alward said there are some areas that need work in the next few months, but he is looking to build on great service.

Those areas include neurology, cardiology, orthopedics and surgical services.

“We recently added new or expanded services in the areas of neurology, electrophysiology, nephrology, vascular, pulmonology, gastroenterology, hospitalist and (the) emergency department,” he said.

Key to success will be retaining support and trust within the community and with the physicians, Alward said.

“I always maintain an open-door policy and encourage feedback on what we can do to make Englewood Community Hospital the hospital of choice for high-quality medical care,” he said.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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