Challenge for Health Expert : Edgemoor Gets a New Administrator

Times Staff Writer

A woman with more than a decade of experience managing nursing homes has been named to head San Diego County’s Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital in Santee, county officials said Thursday.

Florence L. McCarthy, 47, currently administrator of La Residencia nursing center in Santa Fe, N.M., will start her job at Edgemoor on March 24, according to Chief Administrative Officer Norman Hickey.

McCarthy spent nine years in various management positions at the University of Illinois Hospital, a 650-bed hospital in Chicago, and in the office of the chancellor at the university’s medical center.

She later became administrator of medical facilities in Joliet, Rock Island and Westmont, all in Illinois.


In 1982, McCarthy moved to New Mexico, where she ran a nursing center in Albuquerque before moving to Santa Fe.

McCarthy holds a master of science degree in health services administration from Governors State University in Illinois, where she has also taught courses.

Edgemoor, a 323-bed hospital, houses San Diego County’s elderly, handicapped and mentally ill patients who have nowhere else to turn.

Hickey called McCarthy a “high-caliber” administrator who will be able to lead Edgemoor in the development of long-range strategies aimed at providing more effective management. She will be expected to guide the formation of the first master plan, including major reconstruction, in the 64-year history of the facility.


Edgemoor’s management was reorganized and its administrator transferred last year after the hospital was criticized by state and local officials. At one point, the federal government threatened to end Medicare reimbursements for patients served at the hospital, but that threat was withdrawn after the county improved conditions there.