Sarasota Memorial CEO resigns to take bigger leadership post

mjohnson@bradenton.comApril 24, 2014 


SARASOTA -- After leading the Sarasota's flagship healthcare company for a decade, Gwen MacKenzie is leaving her job as president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.

MacKenzie's resignation has her leaving Sarasota Memorial at the end of May. On June 1, she will take a leadership position with Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, according to a Sarasota Memorial press release. Ascension is based in St. Louis, Mo.

David Verinder, Sarasota Memorial's chief operating officer since 2010, will be

come the hospital system's interim CEO on June 1.

Sarasota Memorial operates in Sarasota and Manatee counties. It has 15 locations from North Port to Heritage Harbor in East Manatee. The hospital's main campus is on Tamiami Trail near downtown Sarasota.

During her time at Sarasota Memorial, MacKenzie led the organization as it opened seven outpatient facilities and undertook a $250 million improvement campaign at the hospital system's main campus.

Manatee County residents have close access to Sarasota Memorial at outpatient and urgent care facilities at Heritage Harbor and 5350 University Parkway.

MacKenzie came to Sarasota Memorial in 2005 after serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Detroit Medical Center, according to her bio on Sarasota Memorial's website. She worked her way into that position after starting at the Detroit Medical Center 25 years earlier as an oncology nurse.

At Ascension, McKenzie will lead administration and operations as a senior vice president for five health systems in Michigan. Those systems have a total of 31,000 employees and more than 150,000 patient discharges per year.

They also see 4 million annual outpatient visits a year.

By comparison, Sarasota Memorial has 4,000 staff, and has about 25,000 inpatient visits and more than 790,000 outpatient visits each year, according to the hospital's website.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.

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