St. Mary’s CEO to Retire After 40-Year Career in Healthcare

St. May's Home children.

Salim, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, checks out the office of CEO William C. Giermak, who plans to retire from the nonprofit in October. (photo by Chris Tyree for St. Mary’s Home)

WilliamGiermakNORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 30, 2016) — William C. Giermak, who led St. Mary’s Home through expansion to care for adults as well as children with severe disabilities, will retire in October after 12 years as the nonprofit’s CEO and a 40-year healthcare career devoted to making a difference in the community.

“I just thought it was the right time for me and my family, and the right time for St. Mary’s to have new leadership and a new voice,” said Giermak, who turned 65 earlier this year.

“It’s a good time because the Home is in good shape,” said Giermak, who previously was president and CEO of Obici Health System. “St. Mary’s is a good place, with the potential to be even better. I’m proud of the people here. The care is wonderful. What they accomplish here to help give the children a good life is really remarkable and impressive, and we can do even more.”

Giermak’s last day will be Oct. 28, almost exactly 12 years after he arrived at St. Mary’s, which then cared for 88 children and young adults who have severe, multiple disabilities. Highlights of Giermak’s tenure include opening the $3 million Albero House in 2013 to care for 12 adults older than 21, creating a recreational therapy program and hiring a respiratory therapist and speech therapists to enhance St. Mary’s services.

St. Mary’s Board of Directors will make a decision shortly about Giermak’s successor.

“We thank Mr. Giermak for his dedicated service to the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home and The Albero House, and we wish him a happy retirement,” said Nancy Wilcox, president of St. Mary’s Board of Directors.

“St. Mary’s has grown under his strong and caring leadership, and he leaves the Home prepared for future opportunities to help even more families on our campus and beyond,” Wilcox said.

Giermak earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary and a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University.

With an interest in business related to social service, he began his career as assistant administrator at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem, Va., working for Hospital Corporation of America.

After two years, he moved to Crockett General Hospital in rural Lawrenceburg, Tenn., becoming one of HCA’s youngest hospital administrators. He was 27.

Three years later, Giermak assumed leadership of HCA’s Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Indiana. During his seven years there, the hospital started an open-heart surgery program, as well as an in-patient psychiatric unit and an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment program.

Wanting to move back to Virginia, Giermak accepted the position of president and CEO of Obici Health System in Suffolk in 1988. He oversaw the opening of Obici’s $85 million replacement facility, a cutting-edge hospital that became a model for other hospitals built around Virginia.

Giermak is a founding board member of the Faith Inclusion Network, as well as a member of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads and a board member of the Town Point Club in Norfolk. In retirement, he is looking forward to relaxing with his wife, Betty, their three children and their new grandchild.

About St. Mary’s Home: St. Mary’s Home, formerly St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk provides around-the-clock, specialized residential care for 88 children and 12 adults from throughout Virginia who have multiple, severe disabilities. For more information, visit

Sonja Barisic, APR
Director of Marketing Communications
St. Mary’s Home
(757) 352-2700 | cell (757) 412-7071


Download a PDF of the news release.

Congratulations, St. Mary’s Class of 2011

Principal Terry Lyle presents Josh with his diploma during the commencement ceremony in St. Mary’s Atrium. 

Friday was a day to celebrate Josh and Maurice, two young men who live at St. Mary’s Home, and to reflect on how far they have come as they prepare for their future.

“For most of us, living is relatively easy. We get up in the morning and get dressed and drive to work,” special educator Judith Green said during her keynote speech at the graduation ceremony for St. Mary’s Class of 2011.

“For Maurice and Joshua, it is not easy,” said Green, director of Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs, or SECEP. “They have struggled to live, they have to depend on others, and they have fought hard to get where they are today.”

Every child and young adult at St. Mary’s attends classes, either at the Home through a partnership with SECEP or at Norfolk and Virginia Beach public schools. Graduation signals the end of formal education for young people who are 21 or will turn 21 in the next year. Currently, young adults must find other living arrangements, such as group homes, before they turn 22, although St. Mary’s is planning to open an adult wing in 2012.

Families, guardians, staff, friends and other residents gathered in the Atrium for this year’s ceremony, which began with four of the younger children presenting colors and also included a video tribute featuring photos of the two graduates through the years.

The caregivers and teachers who knew the graduates the best shared a bit about them. “You haven’t really experienced St. Mary’s until you’ve met Maurice,”  who loves to sing and dance, said teacher Kimberley Curll; as if to prove her point, he smiled and vocalized and gestured exuberantly through much of the ceremony.

Nancy Bryan gave the family tribute. She said her son Josh has been a blessing and has  taught her to “learn to appreciate the small victories.” She also thanked the staff at St. Mary’s Home for taking good care of him.

Before the keynote speech, St. Mary’s CEO William C. Giermak noted that Green is retiring this year and said the Home was honored to have one of her last official acts be to speak at commencement.

Earlier Friday, the teaching staff presented Terry Lyle with a paver in her honor to celebrate her 10th anniversary as principal of  SECEP REACH (Raising  Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health Needs). The paver has been placed along the walkway at St. Mary’s entrance.

Honoring the Woman Behind the Scenes

Barbara Perry and CEO William C. Giermak

When we give tours at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, we spend a lot of time talking about the direct care of the children and young adults. But we also never fail to mention the people who keep the Home running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — people like Barbara Perry, who is retiring from the laundry department after working at St. Mary’s Home for 39 years.

“You’ve toiled behind the scenes,” CEO William C. Giermak told Perry during a party Friday in her honor. “We very much appreciate all you do, especially the love and caring you show for the children. We’re going to miss you a lot.”

New United Way of South Hampton Roads CEO Visits St. Mary’s Home

Standing, from left: Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy services; Carol McCormack, the new CEO and president of United Way of South Hampton Roads; Mary Helen Hilton, St. Mary’s director of annual giving; William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO. In front: Shanyla, who lives at St. Mary’s Home. (Photo by Re:Act Media.)
St. Mary’s Home recently welcomed Carol McCormack, the new CEO and president of United Way of South Hampton Roads. We are pleased to be one of the 70 worthy partner agencies supported by UWSHR. Get ready for campaign season, and LIVE UNITED.

First accepted into the Norfolk Community Chest in 1955, St. Mary’s Home has valued our relationship with United Way for many years. The Norfolk Community Chest became the United Way of South Hampton Roads in 1984, and for more than 50 years we have relied on generous support from this nonprofit organization.

As summer ends, we welcome the opportunity to join United Way colleagues in presentations and tours to share with others the difference their contributions make in the lives of our children and young adults at St. Mary’s.We look forward to the annual Day of Caring each September and appreciate the number of incredible projects volunteers accomplish on this day throughout Hampton Roads.

Thank You, and Goodbye

Carla Aquino, St. Mary’s chief of nursing, left, with her mother,
 primary nurse Cora Culabutan, who recently retired from St. Mary’s after 18 years. 
Housekeeper Lovine White, who also just retired, after 10 years of service. 

They came from different departments, but each of the two employees whose retirements were recently celebrated have left lasting impacts upon the children and staff of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. 
On Tuesday, staff gathered to say goodbye to housekeeper Lovine White. During a farewell party in the Atrium, CEO William C. Giermak thanked White for all the hard work she has done in her 10 years at St. Mary’s. He noted that St. Mary’s five-year-old building still feels new because of the efforts of White and other members of the environmental services department, and “having a new facility contributes directly to the care of the children.”

The next day, it was time for another party, this time to say goodbye to Cora Culabutan, a primary nurse in charge of one of St. Mary’s four residential neighborhoods. She worked at St. Mary’s for 18 years. “Nursing service is the backbone” of St. Mary’s, Giermak said. “We’re losing a pretty key component of that backbone.”

Carla Aquino, St. Mary’s chief nursing officer, also is Culabutan’s daughter. She said her mother inspired her to do her best and also inspired her colleagues at the Home. “She will always be a part of St. Mary’s,” Aquino said.

“I want to thank everyone for all the support, the love and the caring,” Culabutan said.

You Can Help the Charity House Help the Children of St. Mary’s Home

A letter from our CEO … 

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today on behalf of some of Virginia’s most medically fragile children. You can help improve the lives of the nearly 90 children and young adults who live, go to school and receive around-the-clock care at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk.

This summer, Scott Crumley of Crumley Group, Inc., is building the Tidewater Builders Association’s  Charity House for the 2010 Fall Homearama in Norfolk’s East Beach community. All proceeds from the sale of the house will go to St. Mary’s Home, a nonprofit organization that has been caring for children for 65 years.

Your donation of services, material, furnishings or equipment will help offset the cost of building the Charity House. That means more money from the sale of the beautiful Charity House will go to the children, to make their home at St. Mary’s more beautiful, more inviting and more personal.

For Greg, at left, we’ll redecorate his bedroom to reflect his love of cars and also get him involved in car club activities in the community.

For Brandon, right, who tries so hard to communicate but can’t verbalize, we’ll provide advanced technology devices he can use to express his likes and dislikes so we can honor his wishes.

Every child at St. Mary’s has a unique wish that your donation can help fulfill.

St. Mary’s is honored to have been chosen for the first time to benefit from the Homearama Charity House. We are grateful to St. Mary’s Trustee Vince Napolitano for nominating us, to Tidewater Builders Association for selecting us and to the Crumley family for supporting us with their hard work and generosity.

Your support of the Fall Homearama Charity House will build a strong foundation for children with severe disabilities to have happy lives and achieve their fullest potential. To help, contact Jill Woolard of Crumley Group at 428-5252. Thank you.



William C. Giermak

Congratulations, Nancy. We’ll Miss You.

Nancy Mitchell, in yellow, with members of the housekeeping staff at St. Mary’s Home, during today’s party in Mitchell’s honor. 
St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children opened its current building more than five years ago, but the facility still looks and feels brand new. Much of the credit for that, CEO William C. Giermak said today, goes to the hardworking housekeeping staff, supervised by Nancy Mitchell, who is retiring after working for St. Mary’s for 16 years.
“We have really enjoyed working with Nancy over the years,” Giermak said during a luncheon in Mitchell’s honor. “I always felt like Nancy had my back. She was always there to help us, to help things run smoothly.”
Mitchell thanked St. Mary’s for the party, adding, “And I want to thank my coworkers. I’m going to miss you.”
And everyone at St. Mary’s is going to miss Mitchell, one of the people who make St. Mary’s truly feel like home.

A Smashing Good Time

Stephanie Bailey, early intervention technician, left, and Nicole Hoskins Jones, director of recreational therapy, help 20-month-old Bryan create a painting by rolling a rubber ball over a piece of paper covering another piece of paper that was splattered with paint. The activity helps Bryan improve his range of motion. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. 

“How about yellow?” Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy, asked as she held up a brightly colored bottle of paint.  

“No,” 9-year-old Carrington replied.

“Green?” Jones asked next. 




“Do you like pink?” 

“Yeah!” said Carrington, who then also gave her approval to blue. 

Her colors chosen, Carrington was ready to begin the task at hand: Creating “smash” paintings for potential display at the Fall 2010 Homearama Charity House. Profits from the sale of the house will benefit Carrington and more than 80 other children and young adults who live at St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children.

Twins Brandon and Bryan, 20 months, joined in the fun as first-time Homearamabuilder Scott Crumley visited St. Mary’s today to display the model of his Homearama entry — the Spanish Colonial-style home called “Santa Maria” — and chat with media representatives about the project. The 2,800-square-foot home will feature a courtyard with a pool and outdoor fireplace. 

“The proceeds from the beautiful home Scott is going to build are going to be used to make St. Mary’s Home more beautiful,” said William C. Giermak, St. Mary’s CEO. St. Mary’s will use the funds to redecorate and personalize the children’s bedrooms to make them more inviting and homelike.

William C. Giermak, CEO of St. Mary’s Home, left, and builder Scott Crumley with the model of the Charity House. 
Crumley Group, Inc. needs help from suppliers and subcontractors. To donate materials or labor, contact Jill Woolard, who is following the Charity House project on the Crumley Group blog.\

Read more about today’s event at the blog of The Tidewater Builders Association. Watch a video here: