Date: 2/20/2012

Hospital CEO is Executive of the Year

Community Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Donald P. Fesko, OD, MBA, FACHE already has a number of successful accomplishments related to his career. On March 20, the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) will add to those accomplishments by presenting Dr. Fesko with the Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award as the 2012 Young Healthcare Executive of the Year. The award honors an exceptional healthcare executive who is under 40 years of age; is a Fellow of ACHE and holds a CEO or COO position in a healthcare organization.

“We are proud that ACHE has selected Don as the Young Healthcare Executive of the Year,” said John Gorski, Chief Operating Officer of Community Healthcare System. “It serves as an acknowledgment of something we’ve known since day one: that he is an integral part of the tradition of excellence that defines Community Hospital and the Community Healthcare System. Don has worked to foster excellence throughout our organization and has a keen understanding of how to build on these strengths,” Gorski said.

As Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital, Dr. Fesko oversees the day-to-day operations of the busiest hospital in Lake County, IN. During his tenure, he has been instrumental in bringing about both cultural and infrastructure changes that have led to improved patient satisfaction and greater teamwork among senior leadership.

A $40 million Emergency Department Pavilion, new West Pavilion entrance and the addition of 75 private rooms to three floors of the hospital represent a few of the successful projects he has led since he first became CEO in July 2005. He’s also helped to ensure the hospital remains competitive on the outskirts of the Chicago university market by building an impressive ensemble of physicians offering more than 80 medical specialties and keeping up with the latest technology, including the addition of a robotic surgery program.

These innovations have led the staff to consistently perform at a high level, earning the hospital an America’s 50 Best rating from HealthGrades® for four consecutive years (2008-2011) and a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence® rating nine years in a row (2004-2012). Community Hospital has also been named to the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals list by Thomson Reuters.

This exceptional care at Community Hospital encompasses the area’s largest cancer treatment and research programs that link to the National Cancer Institute and major research cooperatives around the globe. Cardiovascular research, neurosurgery and neonatal intensive care and a 5,000-member medically-based fitness center are other examples of the hospital’s broad range of specialties.

The Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award is presented by ACHE: an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. In 2009, Dr. Fesko earned Fellow status and board certification through ACHE after fulfilling multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional/community involvement. There are only 7,500 healthcare executives across the country with this same Fellow status/certification distinction. He will receive his award on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at the Malcolm T. MacEachern Memorial Lecture and Luncheon during ACHE’s 55th Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago.

Prior to joining the staff of Community Hospital, Dr. Fesko was a practicing Optometrist with Munster Eye Care Associates. Dr. Fesko holds a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University, a B.S. in Economics from Purdue University as well as a Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University. A native of Munster, Dr. Fesko resides in Dyer with his wife Katie and their three children.