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Hospital names new chief

August 08, 2000

Hospital names new chief



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


Washington County Health Systems Inc. has named James P. Hamill as its new president and chief executive officer, the hospital announced Tuesday.

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Hammill will succeed retiring president Horace W. Murphy, 64, in September.

"Jim Hammill is a person who in our opinion will be a leader in this community," said Richard Phoebus, president of Home Federal Bank of Hagerstown and chairman of the health system's board of directors.

Hammill, whose most recent hospital job was president and CEO of Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, Md., doesn't plan to make sweeping changes. Rather, the board wants him to continue the hospital's successful record, Phoebus said.

Balancing the interests of hospital employees, medical staff, patients and the community is not an easy task, but the board feels that Hammill is up to the challenge, he said.

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"He is a consensus builder. He is a person who can bring diverse groups together," Phoebus said.

The health system, with a work force of 2,500, is the second-largest employer in Washington County behind the Washington County Board of Education.

"This CEO's job is one of the most important to the economic health of this community," said Phoebus, who was part of the committee that selected Hammill.

When Murphy announced his retirement in February, the hospital hired a company to find candidates nationwide.

The field was narrowed to eight people, all of whom were qualified and capable, but Hammill was selected because he was the right fit for the community, Phoebus said.

Hammill could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Hospital officials said he is in his mid- to late 50s. He lives in Edgewater, Md., but will move to Washington County.

Phoebus declined to give Hammill's salary and hospital officials were unable to provide it Tuesday.

Murphy, who was also on the search committee, met Hammill through their work on the Maryland Hospital Association.

"I fully endorse him. He's a true professional," Murphy said.

Hammill is a good listener who will keep the hospital focused on its mission and vision, Murphy said.

Hammill has held positions at private health care companies and hospitals.

Hammill was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but grew up in Texas, Florida, Washington, D.C., New Mexico and Baltimore.

An Army veteran who served in combat in Vietnam, he has a bachelor's degree in political science from Georgetown University and a master's degree in health care administration from Georgia State University.

He is nationally certified in health care administration by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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