NORFOLK, 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.