Hemker has served as the chief financial officer for the past 13 years, including a stint as interim CEO in 2002.
The decision by the Palomar Health board of directors follows the resignation of Covert, who accepted a position as the chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives St. Luke’s Health System in Houston.
“We are delighted to make this appointment as part of the succession plan and policy developed several years ago,” said Board Chairman Ted Kleiter. “Bob has the level of experience and background to lead Palomar Health through these challenging times. With his leadership in the financial arena and his close working relationship with the executive management team and medical staff leadership, he was a natural choice.”
Covert said Hemker ” is the right person at the right time to nurture the growth and implementation of key initiatives that will take Palomar Health to new heights of performance.”
As president and CEO, Hemker will be responsible for Palomar Medical Center, Palomar Health Downtown Campus and Pomerado Hospital, along with the district’s other services such as expresscare health clinics, the orthopedic institute and the women’s center.
“I am excited to have the privilege of continuing to serve Palomar Health in the role of president and CEO,” Hemker said. “The opportunity to continue executing the strategic direction and focus developed under Michael’s legacy is appreciated.”
Hemker has more than 30 years in the healthcare industry, including time at for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental acute-care hospitals in Southern California and Hawaii. Hemker is an accounting graduate of San Diego State University and received his master’s in healthcare administration from University of La Verne.
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