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University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health selects leader to replace retiring Sheldon

Elizabeth Wise has been selected as University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s new president and chief executive officer, the organization announced Tuesday. Wise will replace Lyle Sheldon, who announced his decision to retire in July after more than three decades with the Bel Air-based organization, including 26 years as president and chief executive officer.

Wise will step into the new role on Jan. 10.

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Elizabeth Wise, MSN, MBA, has been selected as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) effective January 10, 2022.
Elizabeth Wise, MSN, MBA, has been selected as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) effective January 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network)

Since 2017, Wise has served as president of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono and senior vice president, operations, Lehigh Valley Health Network, which includes Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Dickson City. She was named president of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Dickson City in 2020 and president, north region in 2021.

“Elizabeth is an empathetic and deeply experienced health care executive with a record of accomplishment and a track record for building lasting relationships among peers and colleagues,” said Mohan Suntha, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical System, in a news release.

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Wise earned a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Seton Hall University. She is a member and fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“I am joining an organization with a focus on high quality, patient-centered care and a highly collaborative and dedicated board of directors and leadership team,” said Wise in the release. “I look forward to being part of the Harford County community and working with colleagues at Upper Chesapeake Health and the University of Maryland Medical System in this next chapter of the organization’s rich history.”

During her time with Lehigh Valley Health Network, Wise was force in helping the system to expand and transition through numerous changes in the way health care is delivered in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and the surrounding region, according to the news release.

She sees parallels between the needs of residents in the Lehigh Valley region and Harford County region.

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“Health care is not just at the hospital anymore. Of course, there are other areas of access for the community, whether it be in a health center, or whether it be in a free-standing emergency room. As we enter this era of consumerism, you know, I would say that people want access to care, and they want it to be convenient and to have a great experience. So, the ability to do that in Harford County by opening up access for care is one of the things that really piqued my interest,” Wise told The Aegis.

“Elizabeth’s achievements, experience, and proven leadership skills are first class and she has a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the health care industry, including its unique managerial, financial, operational, and medical challenges,” said Bryan Kelly, Board Chair of UM UCH, in the news release. “Elizabeth has a demonstrated commitment to teamwork and quality patient care and a passionate conviction that successful medical treatment includes the attentive human touch that patients and their families so deserve.”

Wise told The Aegis she is excited to become a part of the Harford County community and has been doing extensive research in preparation for the new role.

“My plan is, as I move into the position, is to do a lot of learning and listening from members in the community about what their expectations are of me in this role, as well as what they would be looking for in a health partner,” Wise said.

Upper Chesapeake Medical Center
(MATT BUTTON AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun)

Sheldon worked for Upper Chesapeake Health for 34 years, 26 of which he spent as its executive head. Throughout his career, he spearheaded new initiatives including overseeing the 2000 opening of the system’s namesake medical center in Bel Air as a replacement for Fallston General Hospital, and the 2013 merger with the University of Maryland Medical System.

“Lyle’s long tenure has laid the foundation for a prosperous future for UM UCH and we are forever grateful for his exceptional service during a long and very distinguished career,” said Dr. Suntha in the release.

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