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Matlack resigns as FTMC president and CEO

Joe Centers • Jun 1, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Fisher-Titus Medical Center is looking for another new president and CEO.

Just one year into the job, Ross Matlack announced his resignation Friday. The resignation was accepted by the FTMC board and its parent board, Norwalk Area Health Systems.

Tom Bleile, a member of the FTMC board and acting spokesman, said Matlack will be missed.

"Ross is an extraordinary guy," he said. "He wanted to spend more time with his (four) children and wife. Being the summer this was a good time to do it.

"With his credentials he will have no problem finding another job. We had a year of aggressive and dynamic growth, due in part to the work by Ross.

"I am extremely disappointed. His family is good friends with my family. He has indicated he wants to remain in Norwalk."

Matlack replaced Pat Martin, who retired last year.

"It could be hard for anybody to follow in an organization that had a president there for 30 to 35 years," Bleile said.

A search committee of local board members, medical staff and community members will begin work with executive search firm WittKieffer to conduct a national search for Matlack's replacement.

"Our goal is to identify a person who fits the Fisher-Titus culture of employees, medical staff, volunteers and board members working together to meet the health-care needs of our communities," Bleile said. "This strong team approach, focused on local need, had been integral to our success. We foresee having a new president and CEO in place within several months.

"In the meantime, we will continue our mission to provide the highest quality health care to our community and support the great team at Fisher-Titus who provide that care."

Lorna Strayer, executive vice president, will serve as interim president during the search.

"We are going to take applications from anybody in-house and from around the country," Bleile said. "It is a team effort here. Everybody here at Fisher-Titus wishes him (Matlack) well."

Is Martin a candidate to return?

"Pat is enjoying retirement," Bleile said. "He indicated to us at his retirement he had no intentions of returning to this job."

Bleile also said there are no plans to merge with any other hospital system.

"We enjoy our independence and autonomy," he said. "We enjoy being controlled locally."

Prior to taking the job at FTMC, Matlack was president and CEO of RiverView Health in Crookston. His career in health care began in Ohio in 1995 at Lorain Community/St. Joseph Regional Health Center and includes executive positions as president of Holzer Medical Center in Jackson and chief operating officer at Cleveland's University Hospitals Health System (St. Michael Hospital).

A native of Pittsburgh, Matlack is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He earned a master's in health services administration in 1994 and bachelor's in business in 1992, both from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He also is a graduate of the Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law, earning a juris doctor in 2001, and is a member of the Ohio Bar Association. Matlack is certified as a Six Sigma Greenbelt by The Ohio State University.

Matlack was unavailable for comment.

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