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Lompoc Valley Medical Center Picks Veteran Health-Care CEO as Finalist

Stephen Popkin Click to view larger
Stephen Popkin

A long-time leader of Southern California hospitals and health-care organizations has been selected to helm the Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

Stephen Popkin has been identified as the finalist to replace Jim Raggio when the chief executive officer retires after 20 years leading the hospital district and 38 years working for it.

Final details of the contract will be discussed and approved during the Lompoc Healthcare District board of directors meeting Oct. 25.

Popkin is chief executive officer of Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, a nonprofit, 193-bed, acute-care community hospital in Riverside. The hospital has a neonatal intensive care unit, a bariatric surgery unit, and a joint replacement center. 

LVMC board Chairman Ray Down said the board conducted a comprehensive national search for a new CEO, with an emphasis on California hospital executives.

“Mr. Popkin brings extensive experience as a community hospital administrator in Southern California,” Down said. “His interactions with his hospital staff and medical staff indicates that he has the skills to continue to move forward with the strategic initiatives underway at LVMC as well as provide expertise in other activities that will contribute to improving the healthcare delivery system in the Lompoc Valley.”

“We look forward to him joining our system in January 2019.”

Popkin has more than 32 years of experience in senior health-care management, including 18 years as a chief executive officer.

"When I became aware of this opportunity, it checked all of the boxes I was looking for, namely the chance to be part of a close-knit community, and expand and enhance its access to high-quality health care,” Popkin said. “From what I see, LVMC has had excellent leadership, and I look forward to building upon that to help LVMC reach the next level in service to its patients and to its community.”

Popkin has worked with for-profit and nonprofit hospitals, health-care systems, medical groups and management-services organizations. He has expertise in hospital operations, quality-of-care improvement, physician/medical staff relations and managed care.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University at Fullerton and his master’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.

Raggio initially intended to retire June 30, but has agreed to stay on the job for the rest of the year.

“The leadership Mr. Raggio has provided has been instrumental in making LVMC one of the most respected hospital districts in California,” Down said.  

The new leader comes as the Lompoc hospital representatives explore acquiring Sansum Clinic's Lompoc facility and reopening the urgent care for patients..

Lompoc’s hospital is operated by California’s first special district focused health care, which was created in 1946. Today the district operates a 60-bed general acute-care hospital; a 110-bed comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled-nursing facility, and a variety of outpatient services. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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