HEALDSBURG -- Evan Rayner, Healdsburg District Hospital chief executive officer, is stepping down from that position, according to the North Sonoma County Healthcare District, which owns and operates the43-bed  hospital.

Mr. Rayner's departure will take effect on Dec. 31, 2012. His  departure was described as "amicable," the health care district said in a release.

 “I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do when I joined the district,” Mr. Rayner said. "And I am exploring other opportunities and challenges.”

Kurt Hahn, chair of the district board of directors, cited a number of Mr. Rayner’s  contributions that helped the hospital during his six-and-a-half year tenure as CEO. Among them:  leading the successful hospital turnaround and maintaining strong financial performance, construction of a new emergency department, re-opening of the intensive care unit with robotic innovations, implementation of physician integration and recruitment strategies, regional collaborations and affiliations, the addition of stroke treatment and regional wound care centers, and the creation of hospital-based primary and specialty care departments and receiving the Association of California Healthcare Districts “Most Innovative” award in 2008.

“Since joining the District in June 2006, Mr. Rayner has also worked tirelessly as a strong advocate at the federal, state and local government levels for our hospital and healthcare access for all those we serve,” Mr. Hahn said in a statement.

 Mr. Rayner praised hospital staff and physicians. 

“Despite the economic downturn and rapidly changing health care delivery environment, our physicians, employees, residents and philanthropic community continue to sustain our ability to deliver quality healthcare in the community,” he said.  

Mr. Hahn said the board has created a search committee to identify Mr. Rayner’s successor.  Those interested in more information regarding the search may contact George Protos at (707) 431-6552 or email:  GProtos@NSCHD.org.