Charlie Harrison announces retirement as MCH CEO

Feb 17, 2022 | Community News, Front Page, Lake Arrowhead

Board appoints Mark Turner as new CEO

After 13 years of leadership, Charlie Harrison has announced that he will be retiring as CEO of Mountains Community Hospital.

“I have been honored to serve as CEO of MCH these past 13 years but, after working nearly every day, going on 65 years, I’m ready for retirement,” Harrison said. Over the past five months, the MCH board has conducted a nationwide search for Harrison’s replacement.

Effective Monday, Feb. 21, Mark Turner will step into this role. Turner has more than 35 years of experience in leadership and management of healthcare organizations. He has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and holds many healthcare-affiliated certifications.

Most recently, Turner was the CEO of Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Wash. Before that position, he was CEO at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital from 2009 to 2017. He is very familiar with the hospitals in our area, and he’s excited to move back to Southern California.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the MCH team and I look forward to meeting everyone,” Turner said. “I want to build on what Charlie and his team have accomplished and continue to grow and enhance the community’s access to high-quality healthcare.”

Hospital board members Barry Smart and Cheryl Robinson led the search committee. “We were fortunate to be able to conduct the search with highly qualified applicants, both internal and external,” said Cheryl Robinson, vice president of the board. “We concluded that Mark was the ideal choice to understand our challenges and help MCH thrive, now and for future generations.”

Harrison is leaving a hospital that is financially strong and has the means to expand and also withstand future storms. This was not always the case. When he started in 2008, the hospital was in poor financial shape. At the time, MCH had 27 days cash on hand and less than $90,000 in the bank.

Over the years, Harrison and his team were able to turn it around by renegotiating insurance contracts, reducing expenses, closing Obstetrics, and adding beds to the Skilled Nursing Facility. Most importantly, Harrison successfully advocated at state and national levels to allow hospitals like MCH to receive the same reimbursements as other designated public hospitals. This change has led to millions of dollars in reimbursements so MCH can continue providing high-quality healthcare to the community.

“Although I’m retiring, my work is not done,” Harrison said. “I will stay on in a limited capacity to help Mark transition into the role, and I will remain on the Foundation board to assist with fundraising efforts.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done, the team we’ve built, and the growth we’ve seen. I’m excited to see all of our planned projects come to fruition under Mark’s leadership.”



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