Long Beach Memorial CEO, COO resign unexpectedly

Two top executives at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center are slated to leave the hospital after they unexpectedly announced their resignations on Tuesday.

CEO John Bishop shared the news of his departure, along with that of chief operating officer Ike Mmeje, in a letter to staff obtained by the Post.

“Like many, I have found myself during the last two years of a pandemic doing a lot of personal reflection, and I’ve been evaluating both my personal and professional goals,” Bishop wrote.

“As we position ourselves for the future, I have concluded that what is best for both the organization and for me is to allow for someone new to lead you through the next exciting chapter,” Bishop added.

The medical center will conduct a national search for a new CEO, according to a statement from the hospital, and Bishop has agreed to stay on until a replacement is found.

Mmeje, on the other hand, will leave the hospital next month “to pursue other opportunities,” the statement reads.

Helen Macfie, who has been a member of the MemorialCare health system’s senior leadership team for over 17 years, assumed the role of acting COO today. Macfie most recently served as the health system’s chief transformation officer.

“I am excited to join the senior leadership team on the Long Beach campus as we work together to strengthen our relationships, enhance our operations and provide the very best care to our patients,” Macfie was quoted as saying in Bishop’s letter. “I have been meeting with John and Ike to discuss our opportunities, and I look forward to working with them and the rest of the team to identify, prioritize and implement key initiatives.”

Bishop first joined the Memorial team in 2009 as chief financial officer of the Long Beach campus. In 2015, he assumed the role of CEO.

Prior to coming to Long Beach, Bishop was CFO of Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.

Then Long Beach Memorial COO Ike Mmeje signs the final steel beam for the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village during a topping out ceremony Nov. 20, 2019. Mmeje, along with CEO John Bishop, announced their resignation from the hospital Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Mmeje has been COO of Memorial since September 2017. He also became COO of Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital in early 2019.

“We greatly appreciate both John’s and Ike’s contributions to our organization and their years of dedicated service to our community,” the hospital said in its statement. “We are also grateful to Helen and the other talented leaders at the Long Beach campus who will help lead the hospitals through the transition and in the years ahead.”

The announcement comes less than two weeks after a story published by the Southern California News Group described how the hospital narrowly avoided losing Medicare funding after patient care lapses. State inspectors spent nine days at Memorial reviewing the records of 33 patients and conducting interviews with staff.

A hospital spokesperson declined to comment on whether there was a connection between the recent report and the resignations.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.
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