Hundreds of employees, community leaders, friends and colleagues offered their congratulations Wednesday afternoon at a reception for William Harding who is retiring this week from Union Hospital after 29 years of service, the past 26 years as the hospital?s president and CEO. Jack Dooling of Dover, chairman of the Union Hospital board of trustees, opened the retirement reception by unveiling an engraved plaque naming the hospital cafeteria in honor of the retiring hospital president and CEO.
The Nutrition Services staff at Union Hospital presented retiring CEO BIll Harding with his favorite cafeteria item, Union Hospital chili. Presenting the gifts were (left to right) Chef Gus Rakoczy who prepared a gallon of chili and froze it in plastic containers and Jennifer Mathey who presented Bill Harding with a certificate for a free bowl of chili anytime he visits. Looking on (right) are Diane Walla, director of nutrition services and Jack Dooling, president of the UH board of trustees.
?Other than answering the ?what are you going to do after retirement? question more times than I can count, this has been a wonderful experience both for me and my family,? Harding said at the end of the reception. ?The outpouring of good wishes and kind comments from everybody is a humbling experience and one I?ll never forget.?
In answer to the post-retirement question, Harding says he and his wife Monica will remain local residents and actively involved in community activities. In addition to continuing responsibilities in local and state organizations, Harding says he?s already accepted new roles in the Leadership Tuscarawas organization and at his church, the First United Methodist Church in New Philadelphia. He says he and Monica are also looking forward to spending more time with their daughters and their families in Fremont and Columbus, Ohio.
On Monday, July 6, Bruce James becomes just the third CEO of Union Hospital since 1953. James is coming from a CEO post at Memorial Hospital in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Prior to that, James spent several decades in executive leadership at hospitals in Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He began his career as a management engineer at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.
Harding says he?ll serve in an advisory capacity for a week or two after James assumes the CEO position on July 6.
?Bruce James has great experience and is a very capable hospital leader. I have confidence that Union Hospital will be in good hands and continue to serve our community exceptionally well in the years to come.?