RegionalCare's Rash giving up CEO role

Company recruits Vanguard president, COO Rutledge moving on

RegionalCare Hospital Partners co-founder Marty Rash will at the end of the month relinquish his CEO title to Kent Wallace, who is leaving his president and COO job at fellow local hospital chain Vanguard Health Systems. Wallace also will fill the COO role at RegionalCare now held by John Rutledge, who is leaving the company he helped launch in mid-2009 for another, unnamed venture.

For 57-year-old Wallace, the move to RegionalCare means a reunion with Rash, with whom he worked at the former Province Healthcare as a regional vice president from July 2001 to December 2002. He has been with Vanguard since September of 2005 and was its Texas market president for three years before being promoted to his current posts.

"Kent is one of the leading healthcare service executives in the country and brings a tremendous depth of experience and proven leadership," Rash said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with Kent to accelerate the growth of RegionalCare's seven-hospital system and to expand its geographic presence across the United States."

Starting next month, Rash's title will be executive chairman and he will continue to be involved in RegionalCare's strategy and business development efforts. RegionalCare last month announced it had signed a letter of intent with executives at Sierra Vista Regional Health Center in southeast Arizona for a long-term lease and the construction of a new 100-bed hospital.

At Vanguard, Chairman and CEO Charlie Martin also will take on Wallace's president role come March 1. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Vanguard said it has waived the non-compete clause in Wallace's contract but that the executive will have to abide by non-solicitation and confidentiality clauses.