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2010 Press Releases
Hal Ziecheck to Become New Morton Plant North Bay Chief Operating Officer
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., (May 17, 2010) - To continue Morton Plant North Bay Hospital’s expansion as a modern community-based health care leader, Hal Ziecheck will be the new chief operating officer of Morton Plant North Bay. He will start his new position July 27, 2010.

For the past 16 years, Ziecheck has been chief operating officer of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla. Morton Plant North Bay’s current chief operating officer, John Couris, is leaving to accept the position of chief executive officer at Jupiter Medical Center, Jupiter, Fla.

“Part of our strategy for the future is to reach out and serve areas that are developing and growing and Pasco County is central to our mission,” said Glenn Waters, president, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. “John Couris has been instrumental in leading the expansion of Morton Plant North Bay and working with community partners to improve access to quality health care. We are fortunate that Hal has agreed to bring his experienced and forward-thinking leadership to continue Morton Plant North Bay’s work as a committed leader in advancing superior health care for the Pasco County community.”

“As chief operating officer, Hal has led Morton Plant Hospital to become nationally recognized for introducing countless innovations in patient care to its community. I am confident that he will use that same vision and skill at Morton Plant North Bay,” Waters stated.

Ziecheck has also been responsible for bringing Morton Plant through its master site plan process which has included the creation of the Morgan Heart Hospital, the Ptak Orthopedic and Neurosciences Pavilion, and plans for the Axelrod Pavilion and the Doyle Women’s and Children’s Health Initiative. Earlier, he led the development of the Morton Plant’s center for outpatient cardiac care, the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion and also helped bring medically-based fitness to Pinellas County with the opening of the Morton Plant Mease Wellness Centers.

“Hal’s experience in building the Morton Plant Mease cardiology program will be instrumental as we continue to grow our cardiology presence in Pasco,” said Waters. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to be named a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospital for open heart surgery each of the 11 years the study has been conducted. Ziecheck will remain the senior management leader responsible for the Morton Plant Mease cardiology program, as well as the health system’s pharmacy and facilities departments.

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, 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, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ziecheck is a fellow for the American College of Healthcare Executives and chairman of the ACHE's Article of the Year Awards Committee. He is also a member of the American Heart Association, a Morton Plant Mease Primary Care Board member, and a member of the advisory committee for the nursing program at Pinellas Technical Education Centers.

Morton Plant North Bay Hospital has recently completed the $49 million Starkey Medical Tower and a new Medical Office Building which doubled the size of the hospital campus and increased the number of beds by 25 percent. The hospital’s expansion continues in 2010 with renovations to the Mitchell Rehabilitation Hospital, the emergency room, a fitness trail along the hospital’s water management area with exercise stations and a new physician’s lounge. Morton Plant North Bay and BayCare Behavioral Health will soon be opening a children’s psychiatric hospital to bring inpatient behavioral health treatment to Pasco County’s children and their families.

A national search for Morton Plant’s new chief operating officer will begin immediately. “Finding a leader of the same caliber for Morton Plant Hospital is a top priority. In the meantime, I will be working with the senior management team and directors on an interim management plan for Morton Plant,” said Waters.

For more information about Morton Plant North Bay Hospital call (727) 953-6877.

About Morton Plant North Bay Hospital
Established in 1965, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is a 154-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant North Bay has also received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission. Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is located at 6600 Madison Street, New Port Richey, Fla.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is the largest community-based health system in the region, providing expert medical care for a patient’s lifetime. Composed of hospitals and numerous affiliated services, the system connects patients to a complete range of services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Together, BayCare organizations seek to advance the health of their patients and their communities.

Member hospitals are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Women’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital North and South Florida Baptist. On the web:


Beth Hardy
(727) 298-6199 Phone
(727) 402-8113 Pager
Alison Schuermann
(727) 461-8538 Phone
(727) 402-5975 Pager