David Kilarski, Chief Executive Officer of FirstHealth of the Carolinas, outlined his plan for retirement at the end of July 2019 to the Board of Directors at its meeting on October 16, 2018. “I have been honored to serve with an amazing group of employees, volunteers, and physicians these past seven years and will cherish my time at FirstHealth,” Kilarski said.
The Executive Committee of Board of Directors of FirstHealth has been aware of Mr. Kilarski’s intention to retire since January 2018. “A number of important projects at FirstHealth needed to be completed before his departure,” said Carolyn Helms, Chair of FirstHealth Board of Directors.
“Dave has guided FirstHealth through a time of unprecedented change in health care. Over the past seven years, his commitment to excellence has ensured FirstHealth delivers high quality care to our patients and community. The FirstHealth Executive Committee is grateful for Dave’s advance notice of his retirement decision, allowing an effective process of transition and selection of a new chief executive officer,” Helms said.
Under Kilarski’s leadership, FirstHealth has grown to a health network serving 15 counties in the mid-Carolinas and over 5,200 employees. The FirstHealth system has been recognized at both a state and national level for its consistent high quality patient safety and patient satisfaction ranking.
Mr. Kilarski has served as Chief Executive Officer of FirstHealth of the Carolinas since October 2011. Prior to joining FirstHealth, Mr. Kilarski was President and Chief Executive Officer of Marymount Hospital and Marymount Health Care Systems in Garfield Heights, Ohio from 2003 to 2011 and the President of South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights, Ohio from 2006 to 2011. Both Marymount and South Pointe are Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals.
Mr. Kilarski attained a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Science degree from Ohio State University. He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and is board certified in health care management. He began his career as a pharmacist, serving as Director of Pharmacy at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois and St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. It was in Amarillo, Texas that Mr. Kilarski broadened his career to become Vice President of Professional and Support Services, and Chief Operating Officer of the 300-bed hospital. When St. Anthony’s merged with High Plains Baptist Hospital in 1996, Mr. Kilarski was appointed Vice President of the new health system.
Mr. Kilarski is serving on the Moore County Partners in Progress Board of Directors, the North Carolina Health Care Association Board of Trustees and is involved in several other local community initiatives and activities.
A national search will be undertaken and it is anticipated that the position will attract a large number of qualified candidates. Tyler & Company has been engaged to assist FirstHealth with the CEO search. Tyler & Company is a nationwide healthcare executive search firm that specializes in interim and permanent executive placements and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.