Both an End and a Beginning

Author: Lee Domanico, CEO

At the end of this month, I’ll be proudly handing over the reins to a new CEO, after 38 years as a healthcare CEO and more than a decade here in that role. It has been my honor to shepherd this organization, and the building of a new hospital, and seeing that come to fruition is a wonderful way to head into retirement. It is a source of great satisfaction for me, as I’m sure it would be for any CEO, that the incoming CEO, Dr. David Klein, will inherit an organization in such great shape and so well prepared for the task of helping people of the North Bay to stay healthy and thrive for years to come.

After years of dedication and the hard work of hundreds of people, Marin will finally have the state-of-the-art hospital it deserves. Our care teams have always been exceptional and now our facilities will be as well. We’re thrilled that our new Oak Pavilion at MarinHealth Medical Center will open soon for patients, despite delays due to the pandemic and our collective “new normal.”

In addition to the new hospital, I am leaving the organization with a strong strategic partnership with UCSF Health, which ensures and expands our high level of healthcare resources. I’m proud that my legacy also includes healthy strategic partnerships with our MarinHealth Medical Network physicians and a strong reciprocal relationship with our MarinHealth Foundation. All were vital building blocks as we worked to transform the hospital from a financially fragile organization in 2010, newly separated from a large healthcare system, to the strong, local leader it is today.

When I started this job back in 2008, the hospital (then Marin General Hospital) was in dire straits. I was recruited to ease the transition from a large system back to local control, and to shore up the organization’s structure and finances. Of course, a new building was also part of the plan. All in all, it was a job tailor made for me, enabling me to draw on my skills for improving hospital leadership, problem solving, achieving efficiencies, designing systems and integrating operations. The unique challenge of figuring out how to overcome seemingly impossible odds of this opportunity appealed to me. In my 12 years here, we’ve accomplished our goals and built a state-of- the-art new building as a lasting legacy of the team’s hard work.

I knew we were truly on our way in 2013 when the community passed a $394 million general obligation bond to help fund construction of the new hospital. That community confidence blossomed even more, as donors large and small contributed even more to the cause. Now, as I stand in the new facility, I’m amazed at what we were able to accomplish by working together.

When I’m asked, “what’s next?” I usually say I’ll work on my golf game, finally learn Italian – and stay involved in healthcare through interim advisory and consultative roles. I can’t imagine ever being able to fully walk away from my passion for ensuring healthcare meets both patient and community needs.

My wife and I have grown to love Marin during our time here, so we’ve decided to stay. We’ll be working on a house in Mill Valley that needs some rehabilitation and hope to move in as soon as possible.

It has been a true privilege to lead this organization over the past 10 years. Especially satisfying, and amazing, was the opportunity to help transform a passionately independent hospital with an alarmingly low level of funds in the bank to the true multi-faceted healing place that MarinHealth is today.

There really are not enough words to thank all of you I have worked with here at MarinHealth, and the community that has so faithfully supported us. It gives me great pride to have been on this journey with all of you. I wish you good health, today and in the future.