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WakeMed names retired admiral as interim CEO

Posted October 24, 2013

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— WakeMed officials have named Rear Admiral Donald Gintzig as interim president and chief executive, effective Friday.

The move comes four weeks after longtime CEO Dr. Bill Atkinson resigned amid a split with the board of directors over the direction of the 884-bed hospital system.

Gintzig has led not-for-profit, faith-based and for-profit health systems in the past. He retired on Oct. 1 from the Navy, where he also served as senior health care executive and acting deputy surgeon general.

“We received a significant amount of interest in the interim CEO position from very well-qualified professionals,” WakeMed Chairman William McBride said in a statement. “We were looking for a strong leader with relevant experience who could lead WakeMed as we search for a permanent CEO. Donald’s vast experience and strengths in strategic planning, quality improvement, financial performance and physician relationships make him the right individual for the job.”

Officials said they intend to name a permanent CEO within the next 12 months.

Before his most recent posts, Gintzig served as deputy commander and chief operating officer of Navy Medicine East, vice commander for U.S. Navy Reserve Forces Command and deputy commander and COO for Navy Medicine West. During his military career, he has overseen more than 150,000 people, 40 military treatment facilities and more than 200 clinics and budgets of more than $7 billion.

He has also served as CEO for hospitals across the country, including St. Thomas Health Service in Nashville, Tenn., The Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic and Schuylkill Health Care Services in Pottsville, Pa., Lutheran General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and Brazosport Memorial Hospital in Lake Jackson, Texas. He has also served as CEO and senior vice president of military and veterans services for United Health Group in Minneapolis.

Gintzig earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance and a Master of Business Administration in Accounting from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is married and has three grown daughters.

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  • Quagmire Oct 24, 2013

    Was he moonlighting like crazy?
    csmith8116

    Reservists usually have civilian jobs.

  • Quagmire Oct 24, 2013

    Double dipper.
    Mr. Middle of the Road

    Every retired military that has a job is a double dipper, Do you have a problem with that?

  • Quagmire Oct 24, 2013

    ust a little too much on that resume, if he really retired October 1. Either the resume is puffed or the article leaves something out philipq

    Or you did not do some basic research and find out he retired as a reservist. Most reservists also hold down civilian jobs at the same time.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Oct 24, 2013

    Double dipper.

  • philipw Oct 24, 2013

    Just a little too much on that resume, if he really retired October 1. Either the resume is puffed or the article leaves something out. I did not see any mention of salary but many other hospital administrators get $500K plus with just a master's degree. Great work if you can get it!

  • csmith8116 Oct 24, 2013

    If retiring on Oct 1 (I assume 2013 because the article doesn't state) how did the guy do all of the other jobs, chairmanships, and CEO leadership the article lists outside of his Navy service? Was he moonlighting like crazy?

  • BernsteinIII Oct 24, 2013

    "Gintzig has led not-for-profit, faith-based and for-profit health systems in the past. ... where he also served as senior health care executive and acting deputy surgeon general."

    In other words, he works well in a bureaucracy.

  • justafella Oct 24, 2013

    Sounds like WakeMed has the right person already.