Maui Health System names new chief operating officer

Debbie Walsh has more than 20 years of experience with community hospitals


Former University of Southern California hospital chief Debbie Walsh will serve as chief operating officer of the Kaiser Permanente-affiliated Maui Health System, which took over management of Maui Region hospitals on July 1.

Walsh has more than 20 years of community hospital leadership experience, according to an announcement. She assumed her new position last week.

“I am excited to join the Maui Health System team and contribute to its mission to provide first-class medical care to the people of Maui and Lanai,” she said. “I feel very honored to be able to serve these special island communities.”

Before coming to Maui, Walsh was chief executive officer for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, a 158-bed community hospital in Glendale, Calif., and she served as president and chief executive officer at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, a 400-bed, full-service, acute, adult and pediatric tertiary hospital in Fountain Valley, Calif.

At Fountain Valley, she managed a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, pediatrics, obstetrics, orthopedic and spine, heart and vascular, neurosurgery, gastrointestinal services, an imaging center, a breast center and other programs.

She also led academic and research medical centers, including USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles where she was president and chief executive officer and led the organization to ranking in the top 5 percent in the nation for cardiac and stroke care.

She has managed construction projects, including ground-up construction of new hospitals, to new wings and the establishment of new service lines, according to the announcement.

“We are thrilled to have such a respected and dynamic leader join us and help us move our hospitals and clinics into the top performing facilities in the world,” said Maui Health System Chief Executive Officer Michael Rembis.

Walsh earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University, Los Angeles and master’s degree in nursing administration from Azusa Pacific University.