In Recognition of Bob Merwinby Representative Jackie Speier
Posted on 2015-01-06
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Bob Merwin, the Chief
Executive Officer of Mills-Peninsula Health Services, who is retiring
after a remarkable 27-year-career there and a lifelong career in health
care. Bob knew early on that hospital administration would be his
future and his passion.
Under his leadership for almost three decades Bob proved what he often said--that he is not afraid of change. He led Mills-Peninsula through major changes and transitions and is leaving it prepared for a long and strong future.
Bob came to Mills-Peninsula in 1987 as the Executive Vice President, rose to Chief Operating Officer and then in 1991 to CEO. One of his biggest and most recent accomplishments was the building and opening of the state-of-the-art Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in 2011. The 241- bed, 450,000 square foot hospital features private rooms with 21st century patient life technology, electronic charting and online capabilities that allow for efficient communication, family sleeping accommodations, advanced earthquake technology designed to withstand an 8.5 quake, and a top-notch emergency department. It also has its own chef preparing sustainably and locally grown food for patients, staff and for special events for the public.
Looking at the 241-bed hospital today, it is humbling to remember its beginnings. Founded by Elizabeth Mills Reid, the Church of St. Matthew Red Cross Guild opened in San Mateo in 1908 with just six beds. It was later renamed Mills Memorial Hospital. Due to significant growth during the following decades, Peninsula Hospital opened in 1954 in Burlingame. In 1985, Mills and Peninsula merged into Mills-Peninsula Health Services. Bob oversaw the integration of both hospitals. He was also at the helm for the next large merger with Sutter Health System in 1996 striving to further strengthening the system of care.
Under Bob's leadership, Mills-Peninsula developed and opened the first community hospital Breast Center with advanced diagnostic technologies, the Mack E. Mickelson Arthritis Center, the Family Birth Center, the Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center, the Women's Center, and a Behavioral Health facility. During the years leading up to national health reform, Bob kept his optimism and focus on building an organization that cares for its community.
In his career and in life, Bob has had a strong partner equally committed to health care. He married to Jean Merwin, a nurse for Sutter Care at Home, in 1999. The two first met in the early 70s when they both worked at Long Beach Community Hospital. Bob went on to earn his Master's Degree in Hospital Administration from UCLA and become the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in San Francisco. Jean moved to the Mendocino Coast and worked as an administrator for a non-profit clinic. Nearly 20 years later, Bob and Jean re-connected at a conference on the Mendocino Coast. Between the two of them they have three children, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
In their well-deserved retirement, Bob and Jean are looking forward to spending more time with family and pursue their common passion for golf.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise with me to honor Bob Merwin for his remarkable career and dedication to health care. He has built Mills-Peninsula Health Services into an organization that will serve patients, provide jobs and advance our health care system for decades to come.