Bayhealth Names New Chief Operating Officer


Bayhealth Medical Center is strengthening its leadership team by appointing Deborah Watson, FACHE, FACMPE, to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Watson had served as Bayhealth’s Vice President of Operations for the Southern Region for the past eight years. While in that role, Watson was responsible for the management and coordination of the 168-bed, not-for-profit, acute care Milford Memorial Hospital campus from an operations, medical staff and strategic planning perspective. She also held system-wide responsibility for Bayhealth Medical Center licensure, Joint Commission and accreditation activities. She led the team responsible for the creation of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute in 2008 and serves as President of the Institute.

Watson led the development and implementation of clinical service lines for Bayhealth’s oncology, cardiac and orthopaedic/rehabilitation services, and completed the strategic plan for the southern region of the health system. Watson implemented a cardiac surgery program through an affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania Health System in 2003. In 2008, Bayhealth and the Penn Cancer Network affiliated for oncology services. And, this November Bayhealth affiliated with Penn Orthopaedics of Penn Medicine for orthopaedic services.

“Deborah has more than 30 years of experience in health care administration. Her leadership, vision and experience will be especially valuable as our organization faces the challenges of growing patient volume, improving health services for the community, and changes required by national healthcare reform,” said Bayhealth President & CEO Terry Murphy, FACHE.

With the leadership change, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Operations and the Milford Memorial Hospital Administrator will all report to Watson. The Milford Memorial Hospital Administrator is a newly created position, to be filled following a national search, and will lead Milford Memorial Hospital to better serve a growing patient population and create a new replacement hospital. Watson is also responsible for Bayhealth’s Oncology, Cardiovascular and Orthopaedic & Neurosciences Service Lines, as well as Respiratory Therapy & Neurodiagnostics.

“I am eager to embrace these new challenges so that we may continue to enhance Bayhealth’s programs and services to better serve the health care needs of our residents,” Watson said. “I also look forward to working with Bayhealth leadership and members of the community as we complete the Phase II construction project at Kent General that will further advance services. This expansion includes an advanced emergency department and integrated cancer center as well as many other campus improvements. At the same time, we will begin to plan a new, state-of-the-art hospital in Milford that is much-needed in our southern region.”

Watson is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), and Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE), serves as a member of their Regent’s Advisory Council, and past ACHE Regent for the State of Delaware. Watson is a Board Member of the Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley, and received the ACHE Distinguished Achievement Award. She is also a member of the Medical Group Management Association and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Watson previously served for 25 years in various leadership roles at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., with the most recent as Geisinger’s Vice President of Operations. She earned her Masters of Business Administration and her Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa