LANCASTER – Edward Mirzabegian announced his resignation as Chief Executive Officer of Antelope Valley Hospital at the regular Antelope Valley Healthcare District board meeting on Wednesday, May 1. The resignation will be effective Friday, May 31. During the meeting, the board accepted his decision unanimously and thanked him for his service.
Abdallah Farrukh, M.D., the current chairman of the board, described Mirzabegian as “an honorable man” and praised him for his work in transforming the hospital and solidifying its performance during his tenure. “When he first arrived, this was a little hospital and he made it into an institution,” said Farrukh.
Mirzabegian has agreed to be available for consultations during the next six months while the search for a permanent replacement is undertaken.
Addressing the room packed with hospital employees, physicians, and community leaders, Mirzabegian said, “It has been an honor and great privilege to serve you, and I wish you all the very best.”
Many of those in attendance conveyed surprise and sadness by news of his departure. They gave the CEO a standing ovation for the work he has done at the hospital.
When Mirzabegian accepted the position of CEO in July 2007, the hospital had accumulated a nearly $12 million loss and was on the verge of bankruptcy. By July 2008, Mirzabegian and the hospital leadership team were able to reduce the deficit to a $1.96 million loss. In fiscal year 2009, the hospital finished with nearly $9 million in profit, and has remained positive since that time. In fact, fiscal year 2011 closed with a profit of nearly $21 million.
During his tenure, Mirzabegian helped arrange healthcare partnerships, most notably with City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases based in Duarte, California. The partnership includes plans to construct a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center on the hospital grounds; City of Hope | Antelope Valley is scheduled to open in late 2013.
Mirzabegian drove the restructuring of electronic medical record (EMR) software system throughout the hospital, expanded specialty services including robotic surgery, and recruited several new physicians to the community. Under his leadership, the hospital began a $32 million facility upgrade project that includes remodeling the hospital’s main entrance, renovating the parking lots and driveways, retrofitting existing structures to meet seismic compliance, and constructing a new cardiology and neurovascular center. Mirzabegian also oversaw the implementation of the trauma and stroke programs, which are accredited by The Joint Commission, and launched an internal medicine hospitalist program to care for hospitalized patients who do not have an assigned primary care provider.
No announcement has yet been made regarding Mirzabegian’s future plans or interim replacement at Antelope Valley Hospital.
(Information via press release from Antelope Valley Hospital.)