City of Hope picks a longtime executive to be its next CEO

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City of Hope, a leading cancer hospital and medical research center, has tapped one of its veteran leaders to take over as chief executive in January.

Dr. Michael Friedman, 69, said he plans to retire as CEO at year’s end after 10 years at the helm. Robert Stone, 44, currently City of Hope’s president and an executive there since 1996, will take the top job in January.

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The prestigious medical center has been a fixture in the San Gabriel Valley for the last century. City of Hope, based in Duarte, is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers nationwide.

During Friedman’s tenure, City of Hope said the number of patients treated annually rose 51% to more than 23,000. For the year ending Sept. 30, 2011, according to state data, the nonprofit medical center reported $1.75 billion in gross patient revenue.

Friedman and Stone both said a key milestone for City of Hope was the formation of a nonprofit medical foundation in 2011 aimed at aligning the interests of the hospital with its treating physicians.

Also, Stone said City of Hope should finish construction later this year of an outpatient cancer center adjacent to Antelope Valley Hospital.

“As health reform really gets going, we will be moving our care into various communities to provide access to the most number of people possible either through stand-alone clinics or partnerships and affiliations,” Stone said.

Friedman said these are “very demanding times in healthcare” so he and the board wanted to ensure a smooth transition in leadership. “To lose our momentum now would be incredibly sad,” Friedman said.



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