JFK Memorial Hospital CEO Gary Honts announced his retirement after 10 years at the hospital.
Karen Faulis, CEO of Hi-Desert Medical Center, will expand her role to become CEO of JFK Memorial Hospital effective Jan. 30, officials with the Desert Care Network announced.
“In his 10 years at JFK Memorial Hospital, Gary has done so much to advance the healthcare services that JFK provides the community,” said Michele Finney, CEO of Desert Care Network. “His depth of experience in health care leadership and his dedication to our staff, our physicians, patients and the community has really made a positive impact.”
According to the Desert Care Network, during Honts' tenure, JFK Memorial Hospital was certified as a Primary Stroke Center, designated as Riverside County’s first Level IV Trauma Center, and expanded surgical capabilities to include robotic technology.
“I’m extremely proud of the work our team has been able to accomplish at JFK,” Honts said. “Minutes matter when it comes to successfully treating a stroke or a trauma. The advancements we have made are enhancing access to high quality care, closer to home for the people in our community.”
Honts will continue in a consulting role through May 1 to support a seamless transition. He and his wife Cheryl plan to remain in the Coachella Valley.
“We’ve made so many friends in the Valley, and when you’re an avid golfer, I can’t imagine a better place to be,” Honts said.
Karen Faulis has been CEO of Hi-Desert Medical Center since 2016 and has led the hospital to become a Level IV Trauma Center and an Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital.
“We are so fortunate to have Karen take on the role of CEO at JFK,” Desert Care Network CEO Finney said. “She is a top-notch CEO. She has built up a wealth of knowledge about the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin healthcare market that will allow us to continue the progress for our patients at both hospitals.”
Faulis began her career as a nurse and held various roles in clinical leadership before moving on to hospital administration. Prior to coming to Hi-Desert Medical Center, she was Chief Operating Officer and then Interim CEO for Palmdale Regional Medical Center/Lancaster Community Hospital.
“I’m looking forward to building on the foundation that Desert Care Network has built at our hospitals in Indio and Joshua Tree,” Faulis said. “I’m proud of the expertise and technologies we have been able to bring to serve the healthcare needs of these unique communities. I am excited to continue to advance healthcare services for our communities.”
To support Faulis in her dual CEO role, Desert Care Network has promoted Chief Nursing Officer Heather Corte-Real to the role of Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer at JFK. A search for an Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at Hi-Desert Medical Center has begun.