President and CEO of Carroll Hospital Leslie Simmons is getting a promotion: As of July 1, Simmons will become an executive vice president for LifeBridge Health, the Baltimore-based health care corporation that merged with Carroll Hospital Center in 2015.
In her new, expanded role, Simmons will oversee not just Carroll Hospital, but also Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, as well as pharmacy, hospice and other services across all of LifeBridge.
"As you can imagine we are beginning to transition as we speak," Simmons said. "I am very fortunate that I have a terrific team that I can delegate to and helps me lead the hospital."
Simmons first came to Carroll Hospital in 2000 as chief of nursing, working her way through positions of increasing responsibility before being named president in 2014, and then, following the 2015 merger with LifeBridge, president and CEO of the hospital, and senior vice president of LifeBridge Health.
The promotion comes as part of a restructuring of LifeBridge Health by CEO Neil Meltzer in response to significant growth, Simmons said, especially in partnerships with urgent care, nursing home and retirement community facilities. Two other LifeBridge executives, Brian White and David Krajewski, also received promotions as part of the restructuring, with White overseeing Sinai and Northwest hospitals, and David Krajewski serving as the LifeBridge chief financial officer.
This is part of an ongoing strategy of integrating services and programs across LifeBridge Health to better serve communities while also saving money, Simmons said, giving the example of Carroll Hospital's cancer center as one that has benefited from the freer flow of expertise and resources since the merger.
"We also have been able to have over $10 million of cost savings a year by integrating some of our departments and services, and drawing on the best practices and strengths of one another," she said. "We've been able to do that without reducing any jobs."
Carroll Hospital will not be left in the lurch without an executive exclusively devoted to local management, Simmons said. Having already taken on some broader, systemwide responsibilities following the merger with LifeBridge, she and her staff were already preparing to launch a search for a local vice president of operations before the news of her pending promotion.
"We were already recognizing that perhaps we would need an additional member on the team," Simmons said. "We will start off with a vice president of operations and then, over time, increase that role to the president/chief operating officer when we believe that individual is ready."
And Simmons said she will remain involved in Carroll Hospital and the community, even as she transitions into a larger role within LifeBridge. After all, she said, Carroll is the county she has, and will continue, to call home.