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Durham Regional Executive Announces Plans to Step Down

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- Richard L. Myers, chief executive officer of Durham Regional Hospital, announced Wednesday that he will relinquish his role as CEO by the end of June and retire on Nov. 1. Myers joined Durham Regional Hospital (then Watts Hospital) in 1973 as assistant administrator and has served as the senior officer of the hospital since 1986.

"I have reached a point in my career where I believe it is appropriate that those who will be responsible for the long-term operations of Durham Regional be identified now," Myers said. "Durham Regional is blessed with many outstanding people. I believe that the hospital will continue to be Durham's community hospital for many years to come."

In accepting Myers' resignation, Michael D. Israel, health system vice president and chief of hospitals and clinical facilities, said, "We are grateful that Rich has been engaged in ensuring a smooth transition of management of Durham Regional Hospital over to the Duke University Health System.

"This has been a particularly challenging and difficult year for Durham Regional because of the severe financial problems that were discovered following the health system's first annual audit of the hospital's books. Given the unexpected financial challenges that surfaced this year, Rich realized that an aggressive plan and long-term commitment are needed to get the hospital back on solid financial footing,"

Charles Blackmon, chair of the Durham County Hospital Corporation Board, said that "in addition to being an outstanding hospital administrator, Rich has worked passionately for the people of this community and played a vital role in the development and implementation of Durham Regional's partnership with the Duke University Health System. As chairman of the hospital board, I accept his decision to retire, but it will be very difficult to fill the void he will leave at the hospital and in this community."

Myers received his masters of hospital administration degree from Duke in 1967. His undergraduate degree is in commerce from the University of Virginia. Before joining Watts Hospital in 1973, he worked at New York University Hospital and West Virginia University Hospital. Watts Hospital merged with Lincoln Hospital in 1976 to form Durham County General Hospital (later re-named Durham Regional Hospital) and Myers became president of the hospital in 1986. In 1998, Durham Regional joined the Duke University Health System.

Myers' community and civic activities include: Durham Health Partners Board of Directors, Durham Merchants Association Board of Directors, Durham Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (eight years), Durham Chamber of Commerce Leadership Development Program, Kiwanis Club (of Tobaccoland) Board of Directors, Kiwanian of the Year 1992, United Way of Durham Campaign Chairman, United Way of Durham President, Durham Merchants Association Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, Durham War on Drugs Advisory Board, Foundation for Better Health of Durham Board of Directors, City of Medicine Executive Committee, American Red Cross Chapter Chairman, American Red Cross Board of Directors, Healthcare Project for the Homeless Advisory Committee, Living at Home Project for the Elderly Management Committee, Durham Coalition on Chemical Dependency Board of Directors, American Heart Association Board of Directors and Durham Public Education Network Board of Directors.

Myers also has served as president of the Duke University Hospital and Health Administration Alumni Association, treasurer of the North Carolina Alliance of Diploma Schools of Nursing, treasurer of the North Carolina Hospital Association, Chairman of the Southeastern Hospital Conference and on the Hospital Advisory Council of Blue Cross of North Carolina. He is a preceptor for health services administration training at four universities - Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington University and Appalachian State.

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