LANCASTER — A familiar face has returned to helm Antelope Valley Hospital, as former hospital chief executive officer Edward Mirzabegian has again been named CEO, almost six years after his previous tenure.
The Antelope Valley Healthcare District governing board voted unanimously to hire Mirzabegian during a special meeting Dec. 28. He takes over immediately as interim CEO, and officially on Jan. 15.
Mirzabegian previously served as the hospital’s CEO from 2007 to 2013, and for two years prior to that as chief operating officer.
“Ed’s familiarity with Antelope Valley Hospital and the community it serves is unsurpassed,” Board Chairman Mateo Olivarez said in a statement from the hospital. “He has a proven track record in driving organizational improvements, implementing best practices and achieving strong outcomes that directly benefit the bottom line.”
During his previous tenure, Mirzabegian transformed the hospital’s financial standing from a $12 million loss in 2007 to a profit of nearly $21 million by 2011. He facilitated a partnership with City of Hope, which led the way for City of Hope’s state-of-the-art cancer treatment center that operates on the hospital’s campus. Under his leadership, the hospital expanded specialty services, launched a $32 million facility upgrade project, and implemented trauma and stroke programs.
Mirzabegian abruptly resigned as CEO in May 2013, for reasons not made public. Since then, he has served as corporate chief executive officer for Avanti Hospitals Healthcare System, which includes four acute-care community hospitals in southeastern Los Angeles; chief operating officer for healthcare Partners/IPA, one of the largest provider companies in the state of New York; and regional chief executive officer for Prime Healthcare Services, which operates 45 acute-care hospitals in 11 states. In this role, Mirzabegian oversaw the operations and finances for 15 hospitals located throughout California as well as serving as chairman of the board for West Anaheim Medical Center and La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, both in Orange County.
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to rejoin Antelope Valley Hospital,” Mirzabegian said. “AVH is a special place for me and it holds a special place in my heart.”
Mirzabegian has a master’s degree in health service administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, as well as a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on a multitude of boards, including the American Cancer Society, California District Hospital Leadership, Hospital Association of Southern California and Children’s Charities of the Antelope Valley, among others.
Mirzabegian takes over after CEO Michael Wall, along with Chief Financial Officer Collette Nichols, resigned in November, nearly a month after both were placed on paid administrative leave by the district governing board and after the district determined it did not intend to terminate either contract for cause as stipulated in their contracts.
In both contracts, items that would be cause for termination include conviction of felony or misdemeanor, embezzlement of funds, willful failure to provide services and fraud. Wall’s contract also stipulates as cause for termination acts of dishonesty, intentional misrepresentation or other such acts.
The district paid out nearly $1 million in severance packages owed the two executives.
Wall and Nichols were placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 17, while investigations continued into alleged improprieties, the exact nature of which has not been disclosed by either board, either publicly or with Wall and Nichols.
Wall was hired in January 2017.
Since early November, the hospital was led by Interim CEO Paul Brydon, a retired chief financial officer for Antelope Valley Hospital.
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