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New president and CEO named for Howard Memorial Hospital


Jason Wells has been named president and CEO of Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California, according to Scott Reiner, CEO of Adventist Health. Wells, who has worked for 11 years with Adventist Health System, a sister organization to Adventist Health, will begin his role on March 19.

“I am excited that we’ve found someone with Jason’s vision and proven record of driving growth,” says Jeff Eller, president and CEO of the Northern California Region. “He is well known for driving change and has a passion for sustaining a culture of excellence.”

Wells will leave his position as chief operating officer of the Physician Enterprise and vice president of Experience at Park Ridge Health, a 103-bed hospital near Asheville, North Carolina. In this capacity, he oversaw business development and strategy, marketing and communications, hospital and clinic patient experience and the operations of 38 medical practices. During his tenure, more than 50 physicians and providers and several new specialties were added to the network. Additionally, Wells provided executive oversight of several significant accomplishments including national recognition multiple years as a top 100 healthcare employer in Becker’s Healthcare Review and the 2015 best performer in the state of North Carolina on hospital HCAHPS “willingness to recommend.”

“Jason’s background includes leading organizations to achieve high patient satisfaction and experience ratings, a natural fit for Howard Memorial Hospital, which routinely receives exceptionally high scores from patients. Additionally, he has extensive experience in physician recruiting, a significant focus for Howard Memorial Hospital and the Mendocino County Community,” adds Eller. 

Previously, Wells worked at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, as director of the Experience Network, overseeing websites, video productions, and collaborations with the Disney I.D.E.A.S. team.

Wells is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has additionally earned the credential of Certified Medical Practice Executive. Wells earned a bachelor’s degree from Walla Walla University and a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine University. Wells replaces Kevin Erich who has been serving as interim president and CEO of Howard Memorial Hospital since Rick Bockmann’s departure in November 2016.

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Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 32,900 includes more than 23,600 employees; nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 4,350 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 20 hospitals, more than 260 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. In addition, the Adventist Health Plan serves patients in Kings County. Visit for more information.