NHRMC Leadership Transition Announced

April 05, 2016
WILMINGTON, NC – With Jack Barto officially having confirmed his upcoming retirement from his role as President and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the medical center’s Board of Trustees has appointed John Gizdic, current chief operating officer, as his successor.

Barto and Gizdic will work together during a transition period to ensure a seamless leadership change. On July 1, 2016, Gizdic will assume the title of “President” to add to his current duties. Barto will remain as CEO until his retirement date, no later than June 30, 2017.

The Board unanimously voted to approve the transition plan.

“The Board of trustees is most grateful to Jack Barto for his leadership and stewardship of NHRMC,” said Board Chairman Dick McGraw. “During his 12-year tour of duty, the hospital has produced more improvement in patient care and more growth than any time in its history. Jack’s successor, John Gizdic, has been an integral part of that accomplishment and the Board is confident the successes will continue to grow.”

The Board has directed Leadership in recent years to develop a philosophy of succession planning for key leadership positions throughout the organization. Gizdic’s transition to the leadership role is consistent with that philosophy.

The Board thanked Barto for his leadership and vision over the past 12 years, the most consistently successful era in NHRMC’s almost 50 years. During his tenure, the medical center not only completed numerous key projects, such as the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital, the NHRMC Surgical Pavilion, a renovated patient tower, a physician network of more than 230 providers, conversion to electronic medical record, NHRMC ED-North and the current renovation of both the Emergency Department at NHRMC and the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center. Also, under his guidance, Barto has built a new culture at NHRMC – one centered on improving patient experience and valuing employees.
“This medical center will be forever indebted to Jack for his vision, his guidance and his leadership,” McGraw said. “He leaves the hospital in an excellent position of strength, which John will ably pick up and continue to lead us forward.”

Barto began at NHRMC in February 2004 after 20 years in healthcare leadership. He said then he intended to retire in Wilmington, and his announcement confirms those intentions.

“I’ve been privileged to work with an amazing group of co-workers, a phenomenal medical staff, generous volunteers and a supportive group of trustees,” Barto said. “New Hanover Regional Medical Center will always be a part of me and my family.

“I’m staying here in this area, so I will be very much invested in the ongoing success of this medical center, which I’m confident will be the case under John’s leadership. He is fully prepared to take leadership of this organization, continue the success we’ve enjoyed and build on it in his own way.”

Gizdic, 46, began at NHRMC in 2005 as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development. He assumed the title of Chief Operating Officer in 2013. Before joining NHRMC, he worked 14 years in various roles within Carolinas HealthCare System, the last of which was Vice President of Operations at Carolinas HealthCare System - Blue Ridge in Morganton, N.C.
He is married to Cristin and they have twin 15-year-old boys, John and Shaun. Throughout his time at NHRMC, he has been active in the community in various roles, to include Second Vice President on the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Board, member of the Cape Fear Future Board, Chairman of the N.C. Center for Affordable Health Care, member of the N.C. Hospital Association’s Policy Development Committee and 2016 Honorary Chairman of Relay for Life of Wilmington.

“I am honored and humbled to be given this opportunity,” Gizdic said. “I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their support and confidence, and thank Jack for his leadership over the last 11 years and for everything he has taught me.

“I look forward to this opportunity and will give this organization everything I have, which is what our staff, our physicians and, most of all, our patients deserve.”

Gizdic had led or directed several key initiatives during his 11 years at NHRMC, to include creating the physician network that became NHRMC Physicians Group; leading Physician Quality Partners, the organization’s Accountable Care Organization; facilitating numerous joint ventures in partnership with physicians, and spearheading an organization-wide effort to improve efficiencies which has led to an $100 million operational improvement in four years.

The transition process, with Barto and Gizdic continuing to work side-by-side, will provide a constant and consistent process for staff and physicians, which McGraw said was an important consideration for the Board and the community.

“With all the uncertainty about healthcare’s future, we’re fortunate to have someone with John’s experience, both in the profession and especially at NHRMC, to guide us going forward,” McGraw said. “John will also bring to this position talents and a vision that are unique to him and will be needed for us going forward.”

Gizdic said he anticipates carrying forward the immediate goals of the medical center, to include preparing NHRMC for value-based care, continuing to expand services into the region and partnering closely with physicians to improve patient outcomes and patient experience.

“Jack has positioned the medical center to be an industry leader on many fronts,” Gizdic said. “Specifically, our quality of care outcomes and the culture of teamwork and partnership he has built with staff and physicians has been nothing short of phenomenal.

“I’m looking forward to continuing that legacy with our staff and physicians, but also leading this great organization to future success in a dynamic healthcare environment.”