GBMC head stepping down for Pa. hospital position

December 11, 2009

The president and CEO of Greater Baltimore Medical Center is stepping down after a decade on the job to take over the helm of a hospital in Pennsylvania. Laurence M. Merlis is leaving GBMC HealthCare to become president and chief executive officer of Abington Health and Abington Memorial Hospital in Montgomery County, Pa. Over the course of his tenure, Merlis created an affiliation between the Towson health system and Johns Hopkins Medicine in such clinical areas as cardiology and pediatric surgery. His resignation is effective Jan. 31. Dr. John Saunders Jr., a surgeon and GBMC's chief of staff since October 2004, will serve as interim CEO while a search committee works to find a successor, expected to be named within six months, said GBMC spokesman Michael Schwartzberg. GBMC HealthCare includes the 300-bed community hospital, Gilchrist Hospice Care, the GBMC foundation and more than 40 physician practices.

- Kelly Brewington

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