After 24 years, Jeffrey Fried is no longer president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare.
“We are all very grateful for Jeff’s many contributions in growing Beebe Healthcare to where it is today,” said David Herbert, chair of the board of directors. “The board wishes to move ahead in new directions as Beebe enters into its next generation of providing excellent healthcare for the community. We thank him for his commitment and professionalism over the past 24 years and wish him great success in his future endeavors.”
The board has appointed Rick Schaffner as interim CEO. Schaffner has served as Beebe’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for seven years. Herbert said a nationwide search for a new CEO will commence immediately.
Fried, 65, said he’s grateful and appreciative for his time with Beebe.
“I feel that I have been very fortunate to be able to lead this organization for the past 24 years, and to be associated with so many talented, concerned, and caring people,” Fried said in a letter. “I have always felt that Beebe Healthcare is a special organization, and there is nothing that will change my mind about that.”
Fried joined Beebe Healthcare in 1995. From 1983 to 1994, Fried held various positions with Lancaster General Hospital, ultimately serving as chief operating officer.
Fried attended the University of Kansas for undergraduate studies before earning a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 1979.
In recent years, Fried’s focus has been on steering Beebe to respond to the Cape Region’s booming population. Renovations to the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus are underway, and a brand new emergency department and cancer center are under construction in Millville. There are also plans to build a short-term in-patient surgical center on Beebe property on Route 24. Beebe recently borrowed $169 million for its expansion.
Schaffner said Beebe remains committed to improving Sussex County’s healthcare programs.
“We continuously work to improve patient access, patient satisfaction, quality and safety that best meets the changing needs of our patients, caregivers and community,” he said.
Fried said when he came to Beebe in 1995, he thought it would be for a short time before moving on to bigger and better things.
“But over time, I fell in love with the community, with the people at Beebe, and grew to appreciate what a special area this is,” he said.
He said he has had opportunities to move to bigger organizations, but he decided to stay in Lewes.
“In my mind and my heart, this was where I wanted to be,” he said. “And I never looked back.”
He met his wife Sherry while living in Sussex County, and, he said, his daughter Samantha will always call the Cape Region her home.
He said he wishes everyone at Beebe the best.
“Beebe is well positioned for the coming changes, and it’s very gratifying for me to know that the organization today is as strong as it’s ever been and has excellent leadership in place,” he said.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.