Hospital group gets new CEO

First Posted: 5/1/2009

Along with new owners, Wyoming Valley Health Care System announced today that Cornelio R. Catena has been appointed chief executive officer, replacing Dr. William Host, who has previously announced his retirement.

The $271 million acquisition by subsidiaries of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, Inc. includes Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, First Hospital Wyoming Valley and other outpatient and ancillary services.

"Through our new affiliation, we will have access to the management expertise and capital resources necessary to succeed and grow in what has become a challenging environment for community hospitals," said Rusty Flack, chairman of the WVHCS board of trustees.

Catena has more than 30 years of hospital management experience and previously has served as chief executive officer of hospitals in Alabama, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has served in a divisional leadership capacity for Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, working regionally with hospitals in Pennsylvania.  Before that, he served for six years as chief executive officer at Easton Hospital, where he led the hospital through a similar post-acquisition integration.

WVHCS will continue to be governed by a board of trustees composed entirely of local hospital and community representatives.  The acquisition includes a commitment to enhance the services of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital with a new emergency department, new patient tower, four cardiac catheterization labs, new intensive care rooms and a parking garage.
“These investments will help Wilkes-Barre General Hospital maintain its role as a trusted provider of health services and a vital part of the community,” said Catena.  “As we expand our services and recruit new physicians to our community, we will further improve the quality of care available for local residents.”

WILKES-BARRE — The $271 million sale of the Wyoming Valley Health Care System to a subsidiary of a Tennessee-based for profit health system is complete.

Community Health Systems, Inc., of Franklin, Tenn., announced the deal this morning.

"We are pleased to broaden our presence in Pennsylvania and look forward to implementing our proven operating strategies to enhance health care services for residents of Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding communities,” said Wayne T. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Community Health Systems, Inc. "We are excited about working with the dedicated employees and medical staff of these facilities to build upon their longstanding tradition of providing high-quality care.”

WVHCS operated Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, First Hospital in Kingston, the Heritage House nursing home and other health care facilities in Luzerne County.

Read Saturday’s edition of The Times Leader and for the complete story.


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