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North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 7:00 pm

Palm Drive picks new CEO

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    SEBASTOPOL –  The Palm Drive Health Care District  voted to approved Tom Harlan as Palm Drive Hospital’s new chief executive officer, it’s 10th in five years, at its board meeting today.

    Mr. Harlan, a senior health care executive with more than 35 years of experience, will begin work on Sept. 4, according to the district that oversees the 37-bed hospital. He will earn a base salary of $237,000 per year, with the opportunity to earn up to 20 percent of that in bonuses depending on performance metrics related to improvements in service, quality, growth and finance.

    Mr. Harlan, 66, most recently worked as principal at Harlan Healthcare Consulting in Orinda and later Sebastopol. Before that, he served for nine years as president and chief administrative officer of John Muir Medical Center-Concord Campus (formerly Mt. Diablo Medical Center) a $320 million, 254-bed community hospital in Contra Costa County.

    The health care district said Mr. Harlan is credited with the successful financial turnaround of the Concord hospital, where he developed a long-range master plan that led to a $170 million construction project, and overseeing a facility that became ranked as one of the top five hospitals in California for cardiac surgery.

    While at John Muir, he received The American College of Healthcare Executives Senior Leadership Award, which recognized his outstanding leadership throughout his career.

    “Tom is a highly regarded hospital executive,” said Nancy Dobbs, president of the health care district board. “His experience in the East Bay working with partnering hospitals will stand us in good stead as our relationship with Marin General matures and continues to bring both hospitals value and benefit.”

    Late last year, Palm Drive Hospital followed Sonoma Valley Hospital in aligning itself with Marin General Hospital, a larger district hospital in Greenbrae.

    “I’m delighted to be joining Palm Drive Hospital, a tremendous regional resource,” Mr. Harlan said in a statement. “I am committed to striving for excellence and creating value through focus on caring, continuous improvement, innovation and accountability. These will be key drivers for Palm Drive’s continued success and its ongoing growth and development.”

    Prior to joining John Muir, Mr. Harlan served eight years as CEO  at Chinese Hospital and Chinese Community Health Plan in San Francisco and 18 years as a senior executive at Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center (now California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate) in San Francisco. He graduated with an MBA with from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with concentrations in hospital administration and finance after completing military service as an officer in the US Army Medical Service Corps.

    Mr. Harlan moved to Sebastopol in 2011 to continue health care consulting and further pursue an interest in viticulture and wine making, according to the health care district. He and his wife, Ruth Harlan, are proprietors of August Truth, a small production boutique wine brand founded in 2007 that specializes in chardonnay and pinot noir.

    Mr. Harlan will take the reins from Rick Reid, who served as interim CEO since March. Mr. Reid is also the hospital’s CFO and will continue in that position.

    Palm Drive Hospital has 270 employees and annual revenues of about $30 million a year.

    In 2007, Palm Drive sought Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection after hemorrhaging nearly  $7 million in operating losses. It emerged from Chapter 9 in May 2010 after selling off $11 million in bonds.

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