Retiring hospital CEO Jack Barto: 'I'll miss their smiles and ge - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Retiring hospital CEO Jack Barto: 'I'll miss their smiles and getting their hugs'

Jack Barto will retire as CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical CEnter December 31 (Source: NHRMC) Jack Barto will retire as CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical CEnter December 31 (Source: NHRMC)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

After 13 years as President and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Jack Barto will walk the floors of New Hanover Regional Medical Center one last time as the top man December 31. He's retiring.

"It was time for me to go," Barto says laughingly.

When Barto first came to Wilmington in 2004, New Hanover Regional Medical Center had about 4,000 employees.

"We're now up to about 6,600, so clearly we've had growth," Barto said with pride. "People are starting to come to us versus going to Raleigh, Chapel Hill or other places, so that's been a huge boom for us."

While the future of healthcare remains unclear, Barto says he has a positive outlook for this area.

"Whats going to happen more is moving volume to value. Everybody's getting these high deductible healthcare plans--$5,000 to $10,000 healthcare plans and people are going to start making informed choices and that's going to force all healthcare providers to look at doing things differently - making sure we're competitive from a pricing perspective, but also at the same time working on preventive health and keeping people well," Barto explained.

Barto, who has worked in the healthcare industry for 39 years, says he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Mary, and their grandchildren. But he makes it very clear that the hardest part about walking away from New Hanover is leaving his staff.

"Its the people I work with on a day-to-day basis," Barto said with emotion. "I work with the greatest people in the world and the staff that I've been with at the hospital, they are amazing and the physicians are more talented than anywhere else I've been and I will miss seeing their smiles and getting their hugs every day when I walk down the hall. That's what I'm going to miss."

John Gizdic will take over as President and CEO of NHRMC January 1.

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