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Epstein named Business Person of the Year

December 05, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Norman B. Epstein, president and chief executive officer of Summit Health, was named the 1997 Business Person of the Year by the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce at its annual business breakfast Thursday morning at The Lighthouse restaurant.

Epstein came to Chambersburg Hospital in 1989 with more than 20 years in health care administration.

He helped to create Summit Health, a nonprofit corporation made up of Chambersburg and Waynesboro hospitals and many affiliate organizations.

"It's a significant honor. I was in awe when I was told ... particularly as a leader of a nonprofit organization," Epstein said.

Summit Health has an annual operating budget of $115 million with a staff of about 1,800 full- and part-time employees, making it the second largest nongovernment employer in Franklin County, according to John F. Stenger, outgoing Chamber board chairman, who introduced Epstein. The largest nongovernmental employer in the county is Grove Worldwide.

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This year, both hospitals contributed more than $9.5 million in free care and community service, Stenger said.

Part of Summit Health's mission is to provide care regardless of one's ability to pay.

Named president and chief executive officer of Summit Health in 1994, Epstein worked with other providers to bring HealthCentral, a managed health care program, to Franklin County in response to concerns from area employers about the rising costs of health care and the advent of managed care.

"He did this with the goal of maximizing quality while reducing costs," Stenger said.

Epstein is a member of the Rotary Club and a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority.

"Building a healthy community in these uncertain times is difficult at best. With business people like Norm Epstein, that challenge becomes an opportunity for success," Stenger said.

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