Pasco News

Morton Plant North Bay Hospital chief to retire

NEW PORT RICHEY - After guiding Morton Plant North Bay Hospital through most of a $20 million expansion project, Hal Ziecheck announced plans to retire as president Jan. 3.

"I've had an amazing career, much of it with Morton Plant Mease and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been able to be a part of our growth and development as we strive to serve our community," Ziecheck said in a press release.

A search begins for Ziecheck's successor, who could come on board this fall, officials at BayCare Health System announced. Ziecheck will stay several months to help with the transition. North Bay is part of the Bay Care network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals on the Suncoast.

At the helm since July 2010, one of Ziecheck's crowning achievements during his tenure came in May when he helped greet some 125 guests at the unveiling of six new operating rooms.

The surgical suites are inside the Medical Arts Building wing that adds about 25,000 square feet to the 154-bed hospital at 6600 Madison St. in New Port Richey.

Patient comfort got special attention, hospital officials say. For privacy and quicker access, patients can move directly between surgery and nursing units through dedicated corridors and elevators.

Many community leaders have expressed amazement about how quickly the new wing was built. The site had been a grassy field during a ground-breaking ceremony in December 2011.

The second phase of the expansion project will include two new endoscopy and procedure suites, a family waiting area, as well as pre-and post-operative patient areas.

In 2011, the hospital had added a new cardiovascular center providing advanced imaging equipment and more space for heart care including elective and emergency heart catheterizations and angioplasties.

In 2010, Morton Plant North Bay opened the Starkey Medical Tower with all new private patient rooms and a Medical Arts Building that doubled the size of the hospital campus.

The expansion program doubled the size of the campus.
"Hal is one of those rare individuals who has the ability to connect with patients, families, team members, volunteers, physicians, board members and donors, alike," Glenn Waters, BayCare Health System's Hospital Division president, said in a press release.

"He is able to place himself in their shoes and understand their perspective and concerns. His leadership and insight has been a true advantage as Morton Plant North Bay has continued its expansion," Waters said.

Ziecheck has more than 40 years of experience in health care.

Prior to arriving at the New Port Richey hospital, Ziecheck was chief operating officer and administrator of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater for 16 years.

Ziecheck guided Morton Plant Hospital, another BayCare member, in becoming a nationally recognized facility responsible for introducing countless innovations in patient care to its community, including heart and cancer care. He has also been responsible for leading the hospital through a master site plan process.

Ziecheck began his career with Morton Plant Hospital in 1979 as director of the respiratory therapy and perfusion technology department.

He has held a variety of positions including vice president of operations, administrative director of cardiopulmonary services and director of special services.

He has a master's degree in business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, and a bachelor's from Long Island University in New York. Ziecheck is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He came to Morton Plant from Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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