In coordination with the El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) Board of Trustees, UC San Diego Health today announced that Pablo Velez, RN, PhD, has been appointed by UC San Diego Health as ECRMC’s chief executive officer effective April 17. Reporting to UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent, Velez will oversee day-to-day operational, clinical and financial management of ECRMC, leading UC San Diego Health’s overall efforts to support the strategic and operational plan that was announced on February 27, 2023 to stabilize and financially bolster ECRMC, as well as the greater network of Imperial County hospitals.
“Pablo has a strong track record of leading, developing and implementing strategic and operational initiatives that meet the needs of patients, physicians, nurses, team members and communities,” said Patty Maysent, chief executive officer, UC San Diego Health. “This is an important step in El Centro Regional Medical Center’s path forward and we have every confidence that Pablo’s proven leadership will play a critical part in our ongoing efforts to preserve and expand care, coverage and capabilities for Imperial Valley.”
Most recently, Velez served as chief executive officer and senior vice president at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, a 449-bed hospital with the largest array of health care services in San Diego’s South Bay. Employing more than 2,000 staff and maintaining privileges with nearly 600 affiliated physicians, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is the largest health care provider and one of the largest private employers in South County. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is part of Sharp Healthcare, a not-for-profit integrated regional health system located in San Diego, comprising four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two affiliated medical groups and a health plan.
Velez brings more than four decades of healthcare experience to ECRMC, including over 25 years of experience in clinical care, healthcare administration and patient care in border communities. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he started at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center as a nurse manager in Intermediate Care Services in 1996. Velez began his career as a nurse manager in the Acute Neurology and Neurobehavioral Units of Boston VA Medical Center and has worked at other healthcare institutions, including West Roxbury VA Medical Center and Massachusetts Bay Community College.
He holds a PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego, an MS in nursing operations and clinical care from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in nursing from the University of Puerto Rico.
“Pablo has well over two decades of highly relevant experience working with Sharp Chula Vista providing care to border communities. He has proven himself to be a leader who will understand the unique needs of our community and bring a fresh perspective to ECRMC during this important time,” said Martha Cardenas-Singh, Mayor of the City of El Centro.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to welcome Pablo to El Centro Regional Medical Center,” said Tomas Oliva, President of the Board of Trustees for ECRMC.
“I am delighted that ECRMC’s next leader is someone with a deep understanding of the day-to-day realities of caring for patients,” said Christian Tomaszewski, chief medical officer of ECRMC. “I look forward to working with Pablo to help our doctors, nurses and team members continue delivering quality care to Imperial Valley.”
Velez will work with and leverage UC San Diego Health’s expertise and capabilities to bolster ECRMC’s oncology and cardiology services, expand access to life-saving clinical trials and bring reliable radiology and imaging services to Imperial Valley. Velez is a UC San Diego Health employee.
As a long-time partner of ECRMC, UC San Diego Health is committed to continuing collaboration with local and regional organizations to determine the best path forward for ECRMC and the community it serves. This includes exploring the creation of a single health system for the entire County, including but not limited to ECRMC, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District and the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District, with coordinated medical and surgical services, lower administrative costs, and possibly shared electronic health records.