Doug Duffield, president and CEO of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, has accepted a position as CEO of the San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif. He will begin serving in his new position about July 15.
"Decisions like this are extremely hard but having grown up on the West Coast it is important to be close to family, especially with aging parents," said Duffield, "I am so very proud of what the hospital has accomplished together as a team in the past three years; we have made major strides together improving our clinical quality and patient safety."
Duffield came to the Zephyrhills hospital in January 2010 as chief operating officer from Sonora Regional Medical Center, an Adventist Hospital in Sonora, Calif., where he was vice president. He was named to the position of CEO at FHZ when John Harding was hired to head up the newly formed Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division.
Prior to Sonora, Duffield worked at Maluti Adventist Hospital in Lesotho, Africa. Earlier in his career, Duffield provided consulting services for the launch of Microsoft's online services, and he also spent time with the scientific supercomputing division of Intel Corporation, said Michelle Oswald-Bianchet, director of marketing at FHZ.
During his tenure as CEO, Duffield oversaw the expansion of the Zephyrhills hospital, opening the Center for Wound Healing, the Orthopedic Institute, Brain and Spine Institute and the Simpson Breast Health Center. He also led the hospital in a $200,000 remodel of the emergency room, offering a "fast track" concept to emergency care.
"The hospital board has begun an executive search for Duffield's replacement," said Mike Shultz, president/CEO of the Florida Region and executive vice president of the Florida Division of Adventist Health System. "Our goal is to conduct a thorough search for the selection of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills' next leader while striving to not make it a lengthy process."
Vonnie Mikkelsen, executive director of the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, described what Duffield's departure will mean to the community.
"We just launched the Economic Development Coalition and he stepped right up and accepted the position of chairman," she said. "He realizes the hospital's potential and understands the placement of the hospital in the local economy. I was impressed with his ability to see the big picture. He wasn't just managing a local hospital; he understands the importance of community. He is personable and approachable and willing to go the extra mile," she added.
Duffield's wife, Melanie, was a regular volunteer at the East Pasco Adventist Academy where their children, Taylor, 11, and Sienna, 8, attend school. Her first year she was a full-time volunteer teacher's aide, said EPAA Principal Stephen Herr.
"She's a huge part of our world," Herr said. "She helped the school rise to a whole new level with the ideas she had and the events she would pull off. People love working with her. We'll have about 10 people doing what she did."