MedStar CEO, integral to its growth, to retire


October 26, 2006|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,Sun reporter

John P. McDaniel, who led MedStar Health and its predecessors for a quarter-century, building it into a large comprehensive health system, will retire as chief executive officer at the end of next year, MedStar announced yesterday.

Kenneth A. Samet, president and chief operating officer, will assume the CEO title Jan. 1, 2008. Samet first went to work for McDaniel as part of Samet's graduate training in hospital administration in 1982, and he has worked for McDaniel ever since.

MedStar, with headquarters in Columbia, was formed by the 1998 merger of Medlantic Healthcare Group - including its flagship Washington Hospital Center, the largest hospital in the District of Columbia - and Helix Health, which operated five hospitals in the Baltimore area.

The combined system, which added Georgetown University Hospital in 2000, is about equal in size to Johns Hopkins Medicine and is one of the area's largest employers.

Helix and Medlantic combined at a time when hospitals were consolidating to cope with the changes in health reimbursement created by the surge in managed care. Hospitals thought that large "integrated systems" would give them negotiating power in dealing with the insurers.

In addition to seven hospitals, the MedStar system includes 18 primary care sites, a home health agency, two nursing homes, senior living complexes, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers and an adult day health center.

When he retires as CEO, McDaniel, who will be 65, will continue as chairman and president of MedStar Health Foundation. In a statement, McDaniel said the selection of Samet and the 14-month lag would "ensure a seamless transition in leadership" and "help make certain we remain competitive in the marketplace." Neither McDaniel nor Samet was available for comment after the announcement.

McDaniel was an administrator at Maryland General Hospital and was president of Lutheran Hospital in Baltimore, since closed, from 1972 to 1981. He then became CEO of Washington Hospital Center and of the parent it created, Medlantic. He then oversaw the merger with Helix and continued as chief executive of the new organization.

Samet, who moved with McDaniel from Washington Hospital Center to Medlantic, became president of Washington Hospital Center in 1990.

At a glance




1998 by merger of D.C.-based Medlantic Healthcare Group and Baltimore-area Helix Health



Annual revenue:

$3 billion

Annual inpatient admissions:


Annual outpatient visits:

1.05 million

Affiliated physicians:


Retiring CEO:

John P. McDaniel


Kenneth A. Samet


Franklin Square

Georgetown University Hospital

Good Samaritan


National Rehabilitation Hospital

Union Memorial

Washington Hospital Center

[ Source: MedStar Health]

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