New boss named for Sparks Health, Summit Medical

Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates has selected a veteran hospital administrator as the new CEO for Sparks Health System in Fort Smith and Summit Medical Center in Van Buren.

Blan, who retired Jan. 1, 2008, as president and CEO of Saint Clare’s Health System, is expected to begin the new job on March 19.

When he retired from his St. Clare's post, Blan had 35 years in the medical field, with 27 of those as a CEO of a hospital or health system, according to a Saint Clare’s statement.

Blan has also served as the president and CEO of Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City, and the president of Mercy Hospital also in New Orleans.

He succeeds Melody Trimble who was promoted to president of the HMAs Southern and Western Group, which includes 26 hospitals in seven states. Trimble’s promotion was effective Jan. 1, 2013. The seven-state region is Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.

Trimble joined Sparks in the fall of 2009, after the hospital was purchased by HMA in a $138-million deal that closed Nov. 30, 2009.

“I am confident that Gary’s energetic, innovative, open and results-oriented leadership style will fit perfectly with the servant leadership culture we have established at Sparks and Summit and that he will continue building upon the success we have established,” Trimble said in a statement.

Blan received a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and journalism from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla. He also served in the Army and Air National Guard.

“I’m excited about the potential Sparks and Summit have to be the healthcare leaders for Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma,” said Blan, who is a Fort Smith native.

Sparks Health System includes Sparks Regional Medical Center, Sparks Clinic (an employed multi-specialty physician group), Sparks PremierCare physician-hospital organization, Sparks Home Health and the fully hospital-integrated Marvin Altman Fitness Center.

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Summit Medical Center is a fully accredited, 103-bed acute care hospital.

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