Columbus Regional Healthcare CEO leaving job

CEO Henry Hawthorne is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
CEO Henry Hawthorne is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - The Columbus Regional Healthcare System announced Thursday that Chief Executive Officer Henry Hawthorne is leaving to pursue other opportunities and a new interim CEO will start work Friday.

Hawthorne has been with the hospital for six years. He declined comment on his departure when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

The Board of Trustees released the following statement via email Thursday.

"Today's announcement does not change our collective commitment to providing high quality healthcare to Columbus County and we will continue to build on the quality of excellence that Henry brought to our organization. Our team along with Carolinas Healthcare System is focused on next steps, such as growing access to primary care that will positively impact the health of our communities. The Board of Trustees and leadership team thank our dedicated employees and outstanding medical staff, as well as the community-at-large, for their continued support for Columbus Regional now and in the future."

Duane Erwin will serve as interim CEO starting Friday, while a national search is started for the next leader. Erwin most recently served as CEO of Aspirus, which is a health system in Wisconsin.

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