Henry Hawthorne is stepping down as CEO of Columbus Regional Healthcare.
In a Thursday afternoon press release from CRHS, it states Hawthorne is leaving to “to pursue other interests and opportunities.
Duane Erwin will begin as interim CEO Friday.
The remainder of the press release reads: “The Board expresses sincere gratitude to Henry for his leadership and his dedication to the community over the past six years. He has served the people of Columbus County well, and his passion for providing access to high quality healthcare will continue to be felt by the thousands of patients who rely on Columbus Regional for their care.
“The Board, executive team and Carolinas HealthCare System remains focused on strategies to ensure the long-term viability of Columbus Regional Healthcare System, including immediate efforts to increase primary care access, improve convenience and affordability of outpatient services, reduce Emergency Department wait times, and build on the strengths of our surgical programs.
“As noted, Duane Erwin will serve as interim Chief Executive Officer while a national search is conducted for Mr. Hawthorne’s replacement. Mr. Erwin is a widely respected executive and leader with more than 20 years of healthcare experience. He has most recently served as CEO of Aspirus, a non-profit health system in Wausau, Wisconsin for the past seven years, and previously served as executive vice president of Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“Earlier today, the Board of Trustees shared its thoughts, saying: ‘Today’s announcement does not change our collective commitment to providing high quality healthcare to Columbus County and we will continue to build on the quality of excellence that Henry brought to our organization. Our team along with Carolinas Healthcare System is focused on next steps, such as growing access to primary care that will positively impact the health of our communities. The Board of Trustees and leadership team thank our dedicated employees and outstanding medical staff, as well as the community-at-large, for their continued support for Columbus Regional now and in the future.’”