Retirement Announces June 14th
Valley Community Healthcare District CEO, John Friel set to retire in October
2021 BIG BEAR, CA June-2021-
Bear Valley Community Healthcare District, (BVCHD) Chief Executive Officer
(CEO), John Friel has announced he will be retiring in October 2021. He made
the announcement at the June 9th District Board Meeting. John
Friel has been with BVCHD as the CEO since May 2016.
Friel came to the District with nearly 60-years of healthcare experience.
He began his career in 1963 as an Orderly at Tufts New England Medical Center
in Boston, MA. He then continued his education and completed his Licensed
Vocational Nurse (LVN) training at Massachusetts General Hospital, obtained
his Registered Nursing License from Lynn Hospital School of Nursing in
Lynn, MA and served as a Registered Nurse for the United States Air Force
during the Vietnam War.
John Friel’s honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, he received
his Bachelors Degree from California State Sonoma, followed by a Masters
Degree in Public Health from UCLA. Combining his patient care experience
from his years in nursing, and his administration skills from formal education,
Mr. Friel went on to serve as CEO at several Acute Care and Critical Access
Hospitals throughout the state of California.
Friel served as CEO at Catalina Island Medical Center, Oak Valley Healthcare
District, and Watsonville Community Hospital. While serving at both Oak
Valley and Watsonville, he was instrumental in the building of two replacement
hospitals. Oak Valley built a replacement 50-bed hospital and Watsonville built
a 100-bed replacement hospital, both while Mr. Friel served as the CEO for
serving at Bear
Valley Community Healthcare District, John Friel has been
credited with providing the organization with financial stability and
positioning the District to meet upcoming mandated seismic requirements.
While under his leadership, BVCHD has won several awards including but not
Overall Performance Critical Access Hospital (2019)
Heart Quality Performance (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21)
his career, Mr. Friel has maintained his fellow status in the American College
of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), served on several statewide healthcare
boards with California Hospital Association (CHA), American College
Hospital Association (ACHA), District Hospital Leadership Forum (DHLF)
and as a local board member for the Chamber of Commerce, and United Way.
Additionally, he has been a Rotarian since 1979 and has served in several roles
in clubs throughout the state.
retiring, John Friel and his wife Connie, plan to head north to Aptos,
California to be near their two adult sons and their families.
thankful for the time that John Friel has spent serving here in the Big Bear
Valley. He and Connie have been very active in the Big Bear Community, and
their commitment to the success of BVCHD has been felt throughout the staff
and leadership here at the District. Although he will be missed, BVCHD
wishes the Friel’s the best of luck in their next adventure.
managed by Quorum Healthcare Resources (QHR) and they will be responsible for
the candidate search replacing Mr. John Friel. QHR is actively looking for
a replacement and information can be obtained by contacting Woody White firstname.lastname@example.org