Updated

Marian Regional Medical Center and Dignity Health Central Coast Division President and CEO Chuck Cova is leaving his position after 38 years with the health care system, a hospital spokeswoman said.

His reason for leaving was not revealed, and the spokeswoman said his successor or the process for selecting one will be announced in the next few weeks.

During Cova’s tenure, Marian was transformed from a small community hospital into an award-winning, nationally recognized, regional medical center with significant clinical services.

In 2004, he led Catholic Healthcare West, now Dignity Health, in acquiring French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, pulling both out of bankruptcy and turning them into thriving hospitals, the spokeswoman said.

He reestablished the cardiac program and developed the maternal-child health program at French Hospital Medical Center and opened the Acute Rehabilitation Center at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

He also was responsible for establishing Community Boards and hiring and developing leadership teams at both hospitals, she said.

Under Cova’s direction, Marian in 2012 opened a new, $218 million, state-of-the-art, 191-bed hospital that includes private patient rooms, a 21-bed neonatal intensive care unit and an expanded emergency department.

He also was instrumental in planning and developing Mission Hope Cancer Center, a fully integrated cancer treatment facility and one of only three accredited as a comprehensive community cancer program between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the spokeswoman said.

Cova also led the development and expansion of Pacific Central Coast Health Centers from two primary care clinics with one physician to more than 45 health centers and 190 physicians and advanced practice providers offering 18 primary care and specialty services plus five Urgent Care Centers.

He also brought St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard into the Central Coast Division in 2014.

He is credited with acquiring the O-Arm and Stealth Neuroscience Surgical Navigation System, the da Vinci Xi Surgical Robotic System, advanced cardiac imaging, advanced CT, PET CT and MRI imaging services as well as 4D ultrasound and 3D tomosynthesis breast imaging systems.

He also was instrumental in establishing the registered nurse program at Hancock College and developing the the family medicine and obstetrics/gynecology residency programs at Marian.