Mission Hospital gets new chief operating officer

St. Joseph Hoag Health officials announced Tuesday that Tarek Salaway is the new chief operating officer for Mission Hospital campuses in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo.

Hospital officials conducted a national search beginning in 2015 after Margarita Cowley, the previous COO, retired in 2014, St. Joseph spokeswoman Nisha Morris wrote in an email.

Salaway, who lives in Aliso Viejo, held the same role for the Keck Medical Center of USC, which includes Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

Salaway also worked in leadership positions at Stanford Health Care and Providence Health & Services and has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare clinical operations and business management, according to a news release.

"The chief operating officer plays an extremely important executive role in the success of Mission Hospital," Richard Afable, CEO and president of St. Joseph Hoag Health and interim CEO of Mission Hospital, said in the release. "Having a proven leader like Tarek Salaway in that role fortifies our more than 40-year-old ministry and strengthens our ability to provide our communities with access to advanced, integrated care in the years to come."

In his new position, Salaway will oversee operations at both Mission Hospital campuses and off-site locations including inpatient and outpatient centers.

He will play a key role in developing the hospital's strategic direction, the release said. Salaway will oversee a wide range of clinical and ancillary programs that are core to Mission Hospital and identify and develop opportunities for growth, it said.

"Mission Hospital, like many hospitals in Southern California, operates in a changing and intensely competitive market," Salaway said in the release. "I look forward to developing our clinical programs and mobilizing our stakeholders to be best positioned to respond to the market and deliver high-quality results for patients and their families."

Salaway earned master's degrees in healthcare administration and public health, with an emphasis in epidemiology and health services, from the University of Washington. Salaway earned a bachelor's degree in political science and French literature from UC San Diego.

Afable began as Mission Hospital's interim CEO last month to fill in for Kenneth McFarland, who resigned after 18 years with the organization.

Mission Hospital, one of seven nonprofit hospitals operated by the St. Joseph Health system, opened the Mission Viejo facility in 1971 and acquired the Laguna Beach location at 31872 S. Coast Hwy. in 2009. The Laguna Beach hospital offers an emergency department and intensive care and surgical units.

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Bryce Alderton, bryce.alderton@latimes.com

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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