Gainesville, FL – After 25 years of service with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) President and Chief Executive Officer Ward Boston has announced his plans to retire effective October 1. From October of 2014 through April of 2015, he will remain available as a consultant for North Florida Regional Medical Center.

“I share my plans with mixed emotions,” Boston said. “I will not miss our challenging daily pace, but I will miss our great medical staff and employees. I will not miss the ‘red tape’ of today’s healthcare environment, but I will miss seeing our newborns in the daily rounding that has become a part of my routine. I am proud to have served in this role for the past 5 years.”

“Ward has been an asset, not only to HCA, but also to North Florida Regional Medical Center and the Gainesville community,” said Michael P. Joyce, President of HCA’s North Florida Division. “During Ward’s tenure, North Florida Regional Medical Center has achieved key milestones and accomplishments. We truly appreciate all he has done, and he has our sincere thanks and gratitude.”

During Boston’s tenure at North Florida Regional Medical Center, a number of key milestones were accomplished, including the following:

  • Recognition from The Joint Commission as a Quality Top Performer beginning with the first year of this recognition and in the two years since then
  • Recognition from The Leapfrog Group with the highest patient safety rating of ‘A’
  • Significant growth of NFRMC staff and the services provided throughout North Central Florida
  • Securing $100 million+ for a multi-phase hospital campus expansion that included the expansion of NFRMC to 432 beds
  • Accomplishment of a variety of other key goals established by the Board of Trustees of North Florida Regional Medical Center and parent organization, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)

HCA leadership attributes NFRMC’s multi-year recognition as a Quality Top Performer to Boston’s outstanding ability to inspire the collaborative teamwork that ensures evidence-based care and positive patient outcomes and commended Boston and his team for the dedication and hard work that supports patient safety, quality care and the improvement of human life.

Boston has more than 30 years of executive healthcare experience. In addition to serving as the CEO at North Florida Regional Medical Center, he has also served as the CEO of Northside Hospital and Heart Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida; at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic in New Orleans; and at Fawcett Memorial in Port Charlotte, Florida. Boston has also held positions within the United States Army Medical Service Corps and served with a US Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Boston earned his Master’s Degree in Public Health and Health Services Management from the University of Missouri and his Bachelor’s Degree in Government from the College of William and Mary. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and served as a Board Member of the State of Florida Correctional Medical Authority.

Ward and his wife, Mary Anne, have three grown children – Daniel, Christopher and Emma and two grandchildren – Mary Jane and Daniel. “Retiring from a career that has meant so much to me is not easy,” Boston said. “However, I welcome more family and personal time that retirement makes possible. Making this decision now will allow my wife Mary Anne and me to explore some other interests we have simply not had time for. These are very exciting times for us, and we wish the very best for everyone at North Florida Regional Medical Center.”