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Q&A with West Boca Medical’s new CEO with famous name

Mar 13, 2020

West Boca Medical Center CEO George Rizzuto is ready for his closeup. He succeeded Mitch Feldman, who retired in July.

Rizzuto has 35 years as a hospital administrator. He came from Tenet Healthcare’s sister facility, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philly.

Q: Let’s get this out of the way. Are you related to the famous Yankee Hall of Famer and Major League Baseball announcer Phil “The Scooter” Rizzuto?

A: No bloodlines. Not even one connection at Ellis Island. That surprised us.

Q: Why did you wait to do an interview like this?

A: I had so many internal people to meet. During the transition [between he and Feldman] I was listening and learning.

Q: What did you learn?

A: The relentless pursuit to get people well is repeated here daily. We never give up. I’ve heard a lot of wonderful stories. That’s one of the things that has kept me in healthcare.

Q: What impressed you most about the hospital?

A: The quality of physicians and clinicians a hospital this size [195 beds] is able to attract. There’s a real desire to solve problems here. There’s very little bureaucracy. Decisions can be made on the front lines.

Q: What do you want potential patients to know about West Boca Medical’s specialties?

A: We’re building on a 30-year foundation. We enhanced women’s and children’s services and orthopedics. Our level three neonatal intensive care unit [for premature babies] is the highest designation in the state. We have neonatologists on site and hired specialty nurses. We have a dedicated pediatric emergency room staffed by pediatric ER physicians.

George-Rizzuto-CEO-300-x-400In orthopedics, our physicians specialize in hands, hips, knees, foot and ankle and spine with a high degree of training. Our investment in technology can get people better faster.

Q: Were you able to get your feet on the ground quickly in Boca?

A: I was elected to the Chamber board. As a team, we’re doing a build for Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County. I’ve asked our employee activities committee to do more.

Q: What else is important to you?

A: Family is everything. I’m married to my wife Geri for 35 years. We’re both from Philly. We have three adult children. Also my religion. I’m Catholic. I graduated from LaSalle University. [He has an MBA from West Chester University.]

Q: What was your biggest surprise once you moved from Philly to south Florida last summer?

A: Planning for a hurricane. We were prepared.

By Marci Shatzman

Read the full conversation about the new CEO with the famous name.