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Interim CEO Named for Murrieta's Rancho Springs Medical Center

John Harris has been tapped group vice president of Universal Health Services' Southern California market. In his role, he will assume immediate oversight of Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta.

An interim CEO has been announced for Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta and Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.

John Harris will temporarily fill the vacancy left when former a spokesperson for Southwest Healthcare System said Thursday, in a news release.

Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, Inc., has named Harris group vice president for its entire southern California market; however his first task will be leading the hospitals in the two cities.

“His first and immediate responsibility is to serve as interim CEO of Southwest Healthcare System until the current CEO search identifies his successor in that position,” said Southwest Healthcare System Spokesperson Brian Connors.

Harris’ ultimate responsibilities, Connors said, will then include oversight of five hospitals: Rancho Springs in Murrieta and Inland Valley in Wildomar; Corona Regional Medical Center in Corona; Palmdale Regional Medical Center in Palmdale; and Temecula Valley Hospital in Temecula, which is scheduled to open in summer of 2013.

Harris comes to southern California from Texas, where he was the market CEO for Sierra Providence Health Network of El Paso, which is within the Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

He is credited with expanding the network from six to 25 facilities, including four hospitals and 21 freestanding facilities.

"I've been here over six years and it's time for someone to come in and pick up the reins," Harris told El Paso Times in June. "I was not asked to leave. It is time for a change."

At the time, he told the newspaper he was "looking for another multi-hospital opportunity, for a new set of challenges...I love the industry."

Previous to that, he worked as CEO at Tenet’s Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett, Texas.

Harris, 62, earned bachelor’s degrees in business and political science from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

"Throughout his career, John Harris has evidenced exceptional leadership skills in his positions as CEO of a number of acute medical/surgical hospitals," said Marvin G. Pember, president of UHS’s Acute Care Division. "We are excited to welcome him to UHS and look forward to his strong leadership in our fast-growing Southern California market."

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