CHIPLEY — Pat Schlenker was honored on Dec. 17 with a reception. Schlenker is retiring as CEO and president of Northwest Florida Community Hospital.

CHIPLEY — Retiring Northwest Florida Community Hospital CEO and President, Patrick Schlenker was honored by friends on Tuesday, Dec. 17, when the hospital held a reception in recognition of his service to NFCH and the community.

The hospital was acquired by Signature Healthcare in 2012 and Mark Bush was named on Dec. 2 as the hospital’s new CEO.

"I would be less than honest if I did not say I feel a little sad leaving our staff, the excitement of the day-to-day operations of the hospital, and all of you," Schlenker said. "But with sadness there is joy knowing I will be on the hospital boards for the next two years, so I will be seeing many of you periodically."

If Schlenker had remained at the hospital until June, he would have spent 50 years in healthcare, he said.