Palomar Health CEO Announces Retirement


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – After 16 years of dedicated service to Palomar Health, Robert (Bob) Hemker announced his retirement today as president and chief executive officer to spend more time with his family.

“It has been a privilege serving the dedicated employees of Palomar Health as they provide high quality Patient First care to our community,” said Hemker.

“The Board of Directors is deeply grateful for Bob’s leadership of our organization,” said Palomar Health Board of Directors Chair Dara Czerwonka. “His life and career have been guided by his compassion and caring for others.”

The Board of Directors appointed Diane Hansen as the interim president and chief executive officer. Hansen has served as Palomar Health’s executive vice president of finance for the past three years and has more than 20 years of healthcare finance experience. She will transition into her new role effective today.

During Hansen’s tenure as EVP Finance, Palomar Health’s operating margin went from a net loss of $6 million to a net gain of $6 million annually, she led the refinancing of Revenue and General Obligation Bonds resulting in a savings of $83 million and days cash on hand improved by 43 days.

“I am honored and excited the Board has given me this opportunity to lead the organization,” said Hansen. “We will continue the important work that began under Bob’s leadership and work to position the organization for the future.”

As interim president and CEO, Hansen will report to the Board of Directors, serve as the senior executive for Palomar Health, and be responsible for providing overall strategic direction and leadership throughout the health district. The Board of Directors will be conducting a national executive search to find the best qualified candidate to lead the organization.

“The Board of Directors has full confidence in Diane and the executive team’s ability to lead the staff who play a critical role in providing quality patient care,” said Czerwonka.

Hansen is a licensed CPA and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In the coming weeks, an interim candidate will be announced to fill the CFO position.

About Palomar Health

Palomar Health is the most comprehensivehealth care delivery system in northern San Diego County and the first California member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. It is the largest public healthcare district by area in the state, with more than 500,000 residents, and is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors. Palomar Health has several facilities serving North County, including hospitals in Escondido and Poway, expresscare health clinics in Escondido and San Elijo Hills, and a skilled nursing facility in Poway. The health system provides medical services in virtually all fields of medicine, including primary care, cardiovascular care, emergency services, trauma, cancer, orthopedics, women’s health, rehabilitation, robotic surgery and bariatric surgery. For more information about Palomar Health, please visit

Full release in a pdf.

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