SONOMA COUNTY – St. Joseph Health System – Sonoma County will employ a new chief operating officer beginning Sept. 28. Southern California administrator Todd Salnas will assume the role currently filled by Chief Executive Officer Kevin Klockenga, who will now devote his full time to the CEO position.

Mr. Salnas has served as COO to the 444-bed Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier for the past nine years, where he administrates a $90 million operating budget. During his current tenure, he led the effective design and implementation of outpatient business development that resulted in a 10 percent growth rate for the hospital as well as improved operating margins to 8 percent to 10 percent from zero.

"Sonoma is a very special place to live, and my family is looking forward to becoming part of the community," he said.

St. Joseph Health picked the executive after a nationwide search. Upon starting work in Sonoma County, he will be responsible for the operation of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital and provide management oversight for the development of integrated clinical programs.

Mr. Klockenga has served as both COO and CEO since September last year, starting on an interim basis.