LAKEWOOD RANCH — Richard Fletcher, formerly chief operating officer of Manatee Memorial Hospital, will lead the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, known for customer satisfaction and fast growth, as its new chief executive officer.
Kevin DiLallo, the chief executive officer of Manatee Healthcare System, which manages both Manatee Memorial and Lakewood Ranch Medical, made the announcement to his employees Sept. 17.
The new hire comes after Jim Wilson, Lakewood Ranch Medical’s CEO since 2008, abruptly resigned May 6.
Linda Widra, Lakewood Ranch Medical’s chief operating officer, oversaw the hospital’s day-to-day operations in the interim.
“Richard has done an outstanding job over the 10 years he’s been here in several roles,” DiLallo said. “This is very good for his progression in the organization, and we feel he is an excellent fit for Lakewood Ranch.”
Fletcher, a lifelong Bradenton resident, is a veteran of the Manatee Healthcare System.
He was the COO of Manatee Memorial for four years and before that was an associate administrator at the same hospital.
He studied biology at the University of South Florida and pharmacy at the University of Florida and served as pharmacy director with the Manatee Healthcare System at one time.
Fletcher and his wife, Karen, have three children: Kayton, 14, Matthew, 7, and Emma, 4.
Fletcher, who began his new job Sept. 23, could not be reached for comment.
DiLallo credits Fletcher with Manatee Memorial’s “growth in our CV and robotic surgery programs.”
He will be tasked with a growing a sister hospital with different demographics and, belying its young age, a successful history.
Under Wilson’s five-year tenure, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, which opened in 2004, brought on cardiology and orthopedics units, spine surgery and advanced cancer treatment.
In June 2012, the hospital partnered with Tidewell Hospice to open an in-patient hospice unit.
In January, the hospital opened a pediatric unit.
Annual revenues grew from $53 million to about $72 million in 2012, as well.
“We will continue to see growth in that market,” DiLallo said. “We want to be the market leader there so that people who live in Lakewood Ranch receive care there.”
DiLallo said challenges to Lakewood Ranch Medical aren’t unique.
He points to changing delivery systems in health care, such as the move to electronic record keeping and the uncertainty that will come for indigent patients when Manatee County’s $40 million funding source runs dry by 2015.
DiLallo hopes familiarity with Fletcher will help Lakewood Ranch navigate a complex future.
The two have worked together for three-and-a-half years.
“It’s nice to know the person you’re working with,” DiLallo said. “I have all the confidence in the world Richard will do an outstanding job.”