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May 23, 2006 > Retired Chief Executive Officer of Washington Hospital

Retired Chief Executive Officer of Washington Hospital

Richard M. Warren Passes Away

Richard Madden Warren, retired chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System, passed away on May 13, 2006 as a result of a brain aneurism. He was 76.

"On behalf of everyone at Washington Hospital, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family," said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. "I knew Dick Warren very well. He not only had a tremendous impact on how health care services are provided to the residents of the District, but he had a significant influence on my life both as a mentor and a friend. He will be extremely missed."

During his health care career, Mr. Warren accumulated more than 40 years of experience and served as chief executive officer of Washington Hospital from 1969 to 1994. Under his leadership, the former 156-bed hospital grew into a 305-bed hospital and healthcare system that now serves as the major medical center for southern Alameda County.

In addition, he oversaw the development of the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center, a free-standing rehabilitation center, a heart program and three clinics located throughout Washington Township Health Care District.

"On behalf of my colleagues on the Board, I want to express my sincere sadness at the passing of Mr. Warren," said Bernard Stewart, D.D.S., president of Washington Township Health Care District. "The foundation that he laid for health care in this community is still being felt today. His influence can be seen throughout the District."

Mr. Warren's skills as a health care administrator are immeasurable. His skills were highly sought even after his retirement from Washington Hospital. Mr. Warren went on to serve as chief executive officer of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Most recently, he had served as a board member for Alameda County Medical Center helping to provide expert advice and leadership to help guide the County-run hospital.

One of his lasting legacies at Washington Hospital, however, is the Richard M. Warren Nursing Skills Lab, which was named in his honor in 2004. The Skills Lab along with the adjacent classroom teaches tomorrow's nurses about the essentials of care giving. More than 30 years earlier, Mr. Warren's efforts were instrumental in gaining the approval of the Washington Township Health Care District's Board of Directors to provide the original funding for Ohlone College's Registered Nursing Program, which admitted its first class in 1972.

During his quarter century of service, Washington Hospital saw 281,867 patient admissions and 38,447 births. His vision of providing the highest quality care to local residents continues to drive Washington Hospital Healthcare System in the 21st century.

Mr. Warren will be remembered for his exemplary leadership and overwhelming commitment to the community that Washington Hospital has served since its opening in 1958. Beyond the hospital, some of his professional and community involvement included being a founding member of Program BETA, the largest writer of hospital malpractice coverage in California, and serving as its chairman from 1979 to 1994. He also served on the board of the Association of California Healthcare Districts and was a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 1959. In 1985, he was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to serve on the alternative birthing study committee for the State of California.

He was actively involved in the community through his membership in Niles (Fremont) Rotary and served as president of the club from 1978 to 1979. His efforts both professionally and in the community helped make Washington Hospital Healthcare System the high quality community health care leader it is today.

Mr. Warren graduated from the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon, with a bachelor's of science in business administration in 1957. He went on to get his master's in hospital administration at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, and earned the distinguished Malcolm T. MacEachern Award for exceptional achievement in the study of hospital administration. Prior to joining Washington Hospital, Mr. Warren's career included six years in the Medical Service of the United States Air Force. He held hospital administrative positions at Erlinger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn.; King County Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.; Washington Hospital Healthcare System, in Fremont, Calif.; and El Camino Hospital District in Mountain View, Calif. One of his proudest accomplishments occurred when he was offered the position of administrator and director of medical services for the Territory of American Samoa, Pago Pago where he completed the construction of the Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center and inaugurated medical services to island residents in 1967.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Shirlee, and daughters Tamora Warren, of Fremont, and Keeley Blanchette of Tucson, Arizona, her husband Tyrone and grandchildren, Ian and Megan Blanchette.

A memorial service for Mr. Warren was held on Friday, May 19 at the Harbor Lights Church in Fremont.

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