ROARING SPRING - A longtime executive at Nason Hospital is stepping down.
President and CEO Garrett Hoover has submitted a letter of resignation effective July 1 to accept a position at a larger hospital, said board Chairman Stephen Martz.
"I have been presented with an opportunity that is too good to pass up, and although I know that this occurs at an awkward time for Nason, I want you to know that I remain fully supportive of the request for proposal process that has been underway as Nason seeks an affiliation partner," Hoover said in an internal announcement to hospital staff.
"This is a nice opportunity for him," Martz said.
Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer Ray Askey has been appointed by the board as interim CEO as of July 1, Martz said.
Hoover had served as director of human resources since 1988 and in November 1999 was named acting president and CEO replacing the retiring John Kinney. He became president and CEO in early 2000.
Hoover said he is leaving with mixed emotions.
"The employees, medical staff, volunteers, community and business leaders, and board/foundation members have given me much support over the years for which I am grateful. Nason is truly an exceptional place where everyone understands that the "reason we exist is to provide excellent services to our patients," Hoover said in an email. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with all of you. I am proud to say that I worked for this organization, and I wish the very best for you and Nason Hospital in the years ahead."
Meanwhile, Martz said the board has hired a national firm to do a search to try to find a partner for the hospital.
"In July we may have an announcement if there is a viable partner," Martz said.
UPMC Altoona is one of those being considered, Martz said. However, UPMC officials had no comment when asked if those talks are alive.
Nason and then Altoona Regional Health System announced in August 2012 they had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to "negotiate, discuss and develop an integrated countywide health system" - after nine months of prior talks "exploring potential options for better coordinating health care services."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.