Ed­ward Mirzabegian

Ed­ward Mirzabegian

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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