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Felici Will Lead WCH In Interim

By Staff | Dec 21, 2010

Brian K. Felici

Wetzel County Hospital has hired Brian K. Felici, former chief executive officer of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp., to fill that same role on an interim basis.

Felici said Dec. 17 he and the hospital’s board of directors reached an agreement earlier last week. He will take over Jan. 3 for George Couch, who is leaving Wetzel County Hospital to assume Felici’s former job with OVHS&E, the parent company of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry.

Familiarity, Felici said, was one of the primary factors in his decision to return to health care administration eight months after stepping down as the top executive at OVHS&E. He previously had a three-year stint as CEO of the New Martinsville facility from 1984-87.

Felici, a Wheeling resident, said his knowledge of the area and the community convinced the board he could provide continuity as the search for a permanent replacement for Couch continues.

“I enjoyed my tenure there as CEO before,” Felici said of Wetzel County Hospital. “It’s a great community, a great hospital. The board is very dedicated to the institution. … I’m very happy to be there.”

The agreement is for a 90-day period, though Felici said he may stay on beyond that depending on how the search is progressing. He said at this point, there has been no discussion of him retaining the job permanently.

Though his official duties don’t begin for more than two weeks,

Felici said he plans to spend some time with Couch during his last days on the job to ensure a smooth transition.

Citing the recent expansion of the facility’s emergency room, Felici said the hospital is in a strong position.

He said his primary goal will be to keep all current projects on track and not interrupt the progress being made.

Felici resigned from OVHS&E in mid-April after eight years as CEO there, stating he felt it was in that company’s best interest he pursue other career opportunities.

Since his departure, the hospitals have had two interim CEOs-Jan Jennings and Gary Amberson-before announcing Couch as a permanent hire earlier this month.