PLANT CITY – Steve Nierman, president of South Florida Baptist Hospital for six years, soon will become head of eastern Polk County’s largest hospital.
Nierman, a popular and respected member of the community, moves into his new role at Winter Haven Hospital on Aug. 30.
Nierman was selected for the job as part of a consolidation between Winter Haven Hospital and BayCare Health System. South Florida Baptist is one of 10 hospitals that make up BayCare.
Nierman, 45, his wife Angie and their son Blake will move to Winter Haven after they sell their Plant City home.
Nierman said he looks forward to the challenges of running a larger hospital, but leaves Plant City with mixed emotions.
“I have a lot of friends in Plant City. I’ll miss the people and the community,” he said.
The 527-bed independent Winter Haven Hospital has struggled to break even in recent years.
Nierman will take over for Lance Anastasio, who is retiring as president and CEO in Winter Haven.
Mark Bostic, board chairman at Winter Haven Hospital, said “our board feels strongly that Steve is the very best person for this job.”
Anastasio said the hospital’s board and physicians were involved in Nierman’s selection.
“To a person they believed he was the best person for the job,” he said.
The selection committee was impressed with Nierman’s values, community service and track record as a proven leader, Anastasio said.
Tommy Inzina, chief operating officer and chief financial officer with BayCare, said the consolidation becomes effective the same day Nierman starts his new position.
Nierman led numerous expansions and renovations at the 147-bed South Florida Baptist.
Among other accomplishments during his tenure, he led the construction of the Evelyn & Batista Madonia Sr. Heart and Vascular Center and the development of an interventional cardiology and peripheral endovascular program.
He also started a minimally invasive, robotic surgery program with colorectal, urologic and gynecologic surgeons.
Nierman has been active in the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Plant City Lions Club and other organizations.
Nierman was chief operating officer at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Hernando County before moving to Plant City in 2007.
Nierman received a bachelor’s degree in engineering math-science from the Air Force Academy. His military career included active duty overseas and an assignment to the 6th Medical Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base while in the Air Force Reserve. He achieved the rank of major. He left the reserves in 2003.
He has a master of aeronautical science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
He has worked at a number of hospitals over the years.