Lynda Stanley

Longtime Dosher Memorial Hospital employee Lynda Stanley will become the hospital’s CEO and President in December.

The hospital board of trustees announced last week that CEO and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Hilaman will retire effective Dec. 16. Following an hour-long closed session, the board wasted no time in promoting Stanley as the head of the hospital.

Stanley has served as President and Hilaman as CEO since February 2020, following the sudden departure of CEO and President Tom Siemers. She has also served as the President of the Dosher Hospital Foundation and has been employed by Dosher since 1986, including as Chief Operating Officer for an extended period.

“She has been the face of the hospital and has always promoted the hospital through some good times and not so good times,” said Board of Trustees Chair Robert Howard. “I cannot express enough how comfortable I am that Lynda has agreed to accept the CEO and President position.”

Trustees had high praise for both Hilaman and Stanley for taking on their dual roles 18 months ago and for helping to lead the hospital out of a financial deficit. For the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, Dosher is projecting a plus-$1.4-million in operations after running deficits for years.

They were also immediately thrust into the role of navigating the hospital and employees through the ongoing COVID pandemic.

“She is probably the best known person in the community associated with Dosher,” said Trustee Debbie Wood. “She has certainly proven herself in the last 18 months.”

Trustee Dr. Terry Pieper said the board is grateful for Stanley’s love of the hospital that she has demonstrated over the years.

“You’re going to be the right person for the job,” Pieper said.

Trustee Linda Pukenas added that she was thrilled Stanley has agreed to step up as the head of the hospital.

“I think a lot of people know you have this (medical) background,” said Pukenas. “We all know you for different things. I’m amazed at the depth of knowledge you have and your leadership skills.”

Stanley was Chief Operating Officer from 1986 to 2014, when she became President of the newly formed Dosher Foundation. She graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a BS degree in medical technology and has a master’s degree in health administration from Central Michigan University.

She is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and has been a key figure in the success of the Dosher Foundation and formation of the Brunswick Wellness Coalition.

“Thank you in advance,” said Trustee Jwantana Frink. “I’m so excited about the leadership you bring to the table and your passion for the hospital.”

Trustee Randy Jones, who is the great-grandson of Dosher founder Dr. J. Arthur Dosher, also had high praise for Stanley.

“For me, as an adult, there’s never been a Dosher without Lynda,” said Jones. “You’re a classic. I’m excited to see that you are where you belong.”

Stanley told trustees it has been an honor and a blessing to share leadership roles the past 18 months with Dr. Hilaman and is humbled by the board’s decision to promote her as CEO.

“As 35 years in, I’m all in,” said Stanley. “Every decision that I make will be what is best for the hospital. Dosher looks very different than anything we’ve ever seen before.”

Hilaman and Stanley were asked by trustees 18 months ago, after the resignation of Siemers, if they would take on the dual leadership roles on an interim basis. Later, trustees made those jobs permanent.

“I truly mean this, I don’t think you could have selected anyone better for this role,” said Hilaman. “I know she’s going to be able to continue everything on. You’re going to be happy with her. The timing is right for it.”

In a later statement from Dosher, Stanley added, “It is a privilege to be a part of an organization with the talent of our team members, with their level of investment in quality and excellent patient outcomes. I will do everything I can to empower our people to fulfill their mission to make a difference in the lives of the patients they care for.”

Hilaman has been affiliated with Dosher since 1995. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in 1976 and from Georgetown Law School in 1988. He has served as Dosher’s Chief Medical Officer since 2017. He has been employed by Dosher as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist and has been primarily responsible for the direction and management of the hospital’s Wound Care Center.

“He will be sorely missed,” said Trustee Howard. “He has done an outstanding job.”

“I remember well the day he was approached about stepping into the role of CEO,” said Trustee Wood. “He said he would do whatever was right for the community. That’s exactly what he has done. He’s been a leader and a mentor.”

Howard said when Stanley and Hilaman were asked to take on leadership roles, the hospital was experiencing morale and financial issues.

“It’s just been wonderful to see you take this on,” Howard said to Hilaman. “You will always be appreciated.”

Hilaman thanked the board for its support over the past 18 months.

“I did not want to see the hospital decline or continue to decline,” said Hilaman. “I knew I didn’t want to do this without a partner. Lynda has been a great partner. We just have a lot of similarities.”

Trustee Dr. Pieper noted Hilaman has definitely earned the right to finally be in position to retire.

“You were the right man for the job,” said Pieper. “You’ve respected the staff and employees. You’ve done a great job. We are very appreciative of that.”