Doylestown Hospital officials on Monday announced that they have hired a new CEO to succeed retiring CEO Rich Reif.
James Brexler will assume leadership of the community hospital in mid-January.
Brexler comes to Doylestown from Chattanooga, Tenn., where he served for eight years as president and CEO of Erlanger Health System, a six-hospital, 1,035-bed regional health system.
During his tenure, Brexler guided Erlanger through an expansion, achieved and maintained positive operating incomes and an “A” bond rating, and developed strong community alliances, hospital officials said in a statement Monday.
Carolyn Della-Rodolfa, chairman of the board of directors of Doylestown Hospital, said the board was impressed with Brexler's experience and
"We are thrilled to bring a very thoughtful leader with a unique depth and breadth of experience to our hospital and community," Della-Rodolfa said. "The search committee was struck by Jim’s instinctual understanding of our culture, our commitment to maintaining the independence of our hospital and quality of our medical staff, and most of all, our mission to improve the health and wellness of our community."
Brexler will succeed Richard A. Reif, who announced his retirement earlier this year after leading the hospital for 23 years.
In a statement Monday, Brexler said he was honored to be chosen to lead Doylestown Hospital. He was especially struck by the healthy working relationship between hospital administrators and the doctors.
"Together they’ve developed a powerful model for health care quality that is ahead of its time and has positioned the hospital well for the future," Brexler said. "Doylestown Hospital’s long-standing commitment to community health is very exciting to me, and exactly what health care reform should embrace. I look forward to working collaboratively with the entire organization on the next chapter in its long history of excellence."
Brexler's career has shown his ability to manage a variety of situations in what has become a complex and rapidly changing industry, said Dr. Bruce M. Derrick, president of the Doylestown Hospital medical staff.
"We chose Jim because we believe his knowledge and leadership skills will guide us through the challenges ahead, preserving our independence and maintaining our focus on patient satisfaction and quality improvement," Derrick said.
Currently working as a consultant to Vanderbilt University Hospital, Brexler has had a distinguished career leading complex healthcare systems in multiple markets, according to hospital officials.
When he assumed leadership of Erlanger in 2004, the health system was under federal investigation into questionable physician contracting. Within two years, Brexler had successfully rewritten all physician contracts, negotiated a settlement with the government, and implemented a model compliance program.
Brexler also served as vice chancellor of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, and chairman of the Tennessee Hospital Association’s board of directors. He received the American Hospital Association’s Grassroots Champion Award, and was honored in 2011 with the Tennessee Hospital Association’s highest award for distinguished service.
A graduate of Westminster College, Fulton, Mo., Brexler holds a Masters of Public Affairs from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina and completed the Executive Program in Healthcare Financial Management at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
"My wife, Kelly, and I are very excited about moving our family to Bucks County," Brexler said.
He will assume leadership of Doylestown Hospital in mid- to late-January.