Stephen Popkin


Stephen Popkin, who has 32 years of experience in health-care management, has been selected as the next CEO of Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

Popkin, currently CEO of the Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, was chosen by LVMC’s board of directors, the hospital announced Friday. It is expected that Popkin’s contract will be approved by the board at its Oct. 25 meeting, and Popkin will formally begin his tenure in January.

"When I became aware of this opportunity, it checked all of the boxes I was looking for, namely the chance to be part of a close-knit community and expand and enhance its access to high-quality health care,” Popkin said, according to a release from LVMC. “From what I see, LVMC has had excellent leadership, and I look forward to building upon that to help LVMC reach the next level in service to its patients and to its community."

Popkin will succeed the retiring Jim Raggio, who had served as LVMC's CEO since 1998.

At Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, Popkin manages a nonprofit 193-bed acute care community hospital, a neonatal intensive care unit, a bariatric surgery unit and a joint replacement center, according to an LVMC spokeswoman.

The LVMC board reportedly conducted a nationwide search, with an emphasis on California hospital executives, the hospital reported.

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“Mr. Popkin brings extensive experience as a community hospital administrator in Southern California,” LVMC Board Chairman Ray Down said. “His interactions with his hospital staff and medical staff indicates that he has the skills to continue to move forward with the strategic initiatives underway at LVMC, as well as provide expertise in other activities that will contribute to improving the health-care delivery system in the Lompoc Valley. We look forward to him joining our system in January 2019.”

In his career, Popkin has worked with for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals, health-care systems, medical groups and management services organizations. He has spent 18 years as a CEO and has expertise in hospital operations, quality of care improvement, physician/medical staff relations and managed care, according to LVMC.

Popkin earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton, and his master's degree in business administration from California State University, Los Angeles.

Down said he was appreciative of Raggio for his willingness to extend his employment through the end of the year. Raggio had initially planned to retire this summer.

“The leadership Mr. Raggio has provided has been instrumental in making LVMC one of the most respected hospital districts in California,” Down said.

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.