UPMC Altoona set to change leadership

On a day when UPMC Altoona unveiled a timeline exhibit that details the history of the city’s hospitals, the hospital itself revealed its latest bit of history: a pending leadership change.

Starting Jan. 14, UPMC Altoona and UPMC Bedford President Jerry Murray will become vice president of special projects for the Central Region of UPMC, while the local hospitals’ Chief Operating Officer Jan Fisher will become its president, according to a hospital news release dated Tuesday and an email sent to hospital employees Monday.

Murray has led UPMC Altoona and its predecessor Altoona Regional Health System since 2008, succeeding Jim Barner.

Among “tremendous developments” Murray helped bring about is the recruitment of more than 100 physicians, thus im­proving access for patients to both primary and specialty care, David Martin, market president for the region and senior vice president in UPMC’s Health Services Division, said in the email.

In his new job, Murray’s marketplace knowledge, clinical and operational experience and strategic management expertise, will help UPMC expand in central Pennsylvania and into neighboring states — even as he remains a “key player” for UPMC Altoona and UPMC Bedford, according to Martin.

Meanwhile, his moving on “makes way to advance dynamic leadership talent to the helm,” Martin said in the email.

Fisher has been in hospital operations for 36 years, starting as a registered nurse, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Purdue University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Miami, serving as president and CEO of Soldiers & Sailors Me­morial Hospital in Wells­boro, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Laurel Health System in Wellsboro and chief operations officer at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, according to Martin.

Fisher’s “caring, transformational style” and previous success helping organizations improve quality outcomes while ensuring good experiences for both patients and employees will help UPMC Altoona and UPMC Bedford continue to grow and innovate, according to Martin.

Fisher knows how to “empower teams” — a knowledge that has already benefited UPMC hospitals in the region, Murray said.

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