COLUMBIA, SC – April 16, 2008 – Today, the board of trustees of Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals announced the appointment of George A. Zara as President and CEO. Zara will succeed Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, who has served in this role since May 8, 2006. Sister Judith Ann will return full-time to her position as President and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System in Cleveland, Ohio, but will continue as a member of the Providence board, where she has served since 1992. Zara will assume his responsibilities on May 5.
Zara most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Anthony Hospitals (Centura Health) in Denver, Colorado, a 694-bed health system that housed the state’s largest Level 1 trauma center, two medical campuses and a regional air ambulance program. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carondelet Health in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Zara has held significant positions in health administration throughout his career, beginning in 1977. He holds a master’s degree in public health and health services administration from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
“After an extensive national search, the board is proud to have found such an accomplished, experienced executive to lead Providence to its next level of service to the people of South Carolina,” says J. Michael Kapp, chairman of the board of Providence Hospitals. “His extensive experience in Catholic health care, cardiovascular services and diversification strategies will support the strategic priorities of Providence and our mission to serve our community and state.”
Sister Judith Ann concurs. “As President and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System, I, too, am especially pleased to welcome Mr. Zara to our organization,” she says. “His vast experience will serve Providence well and help the hospitals maintain their position of leadership in South Carolina and their vital role in the health care ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.”
In the two years Sister Judith Ann has served as CEO of Providence, the hospitals have received approval by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to expand their facility at Providence Hospital Northeast and to modernize the downtown campus with the addition of a six-story patient tower that replaces semi-private rooms. The hospitals also opened two additional physician practices and became tobacco-free across both campuses.
“Although we will miss seeing Sister Judith Ann on a daily basis, her role as President and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System and a member of our board of trustees will keep her very actively involved in the mission and activities of Providence,” says Kapp.