Richard “Dick” Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Palmdale Regional Medical Center for nearly 10 years, has announced his retirement effective May 16, 2022. Dick’s career in healthcare, spanning over 40 years, has included executive positions in both rehabilitation and acute care facilities.
“I have had the privilege of working with Dick for over nine years and have always found him committed to patients, team and community. Palmdale’s accomplishments speak to his dedication to delivering high quality care and exemplary service,” says Brad Neet, Group Vice President, Acute Care Division, UHS of Delaware, Inc. “Palmdale has expanded under Dick’s leadership and he is leaving a legacy and the foundation for future success for the community. His leadership has also been felt across the region and state as Dick has served on multiple community, regional, and statewide boards. I know all will wish him well in this next chapter of life.”
During his tenure at Palmdale Regional Medical Center, his accomplishments have contributed to a critically needed, broader network of healthcare in the Antelope Valley. The most recent of these includes a strategic partnership with City of Hope, one of only 52 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S., connecting some of the world’s expert cancer scientists and clinicians with the Antelope Valley community while providing expanded care and treatment for patients with common and rarer types of cancer.
During Dick’s tenure, the hospital opened The Rehabilitation Institute at Palmdale Regional Medical Center – the only acute rehabilitation unit in the high desert providing care for patients with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other debilitating conditions. The Institute utilizes specialty equipment including the Vector Gait and Safety System®. This ceiling-mounted gait and safety system is designed to help patients improve mobility and balance while promoting a faster recovery. The AlterG® Anti- Gravity Treadmill®, the world’s first treadmill using NASA-based anti-gravity technology, is also utilized in the unit. Patients at the Institute can now achieve better rehabilitation, train smarter and exercise safer with the Alter G.
Also opened under Dick’s leadership is The Birth Place, a new 25-bed labor and delivery program that features all private rooms. A NICU will complete this expansion in the summer of 2022. The Birth Place offers new moms and their families a comfortable, homelike setting, along with advanced technology and a skilled staff.
Surgical services have expanded during Allen’s tenure with the addition of three new surgical suites and the installation of the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System, an advanced robotic platform that allows surgeons to perform complex procedures such as prostate, gynecological, kidney and gallbladder surgery using a minimally invasive approach.
Quality improvement initiatives under Dick’s leadership resulted in multiple awards of excellence by accrediting bodies in bariatrics, orthopedics, spine, stroke and heart care.
Future planning for the hospital has begun and will include an additional 36-bed medical/surgical unit on the fourth floor and an additional 8-bed ICU pod. Additionally, planning continues for the development of a freestanding inpatient/outpatient behavioral health hospital on the Palmdale Regional campus.
An ACGME residency training program for family medicine physicians is under development and projected to start in July 2023. Additional specialty programs will be added over the next five years.
Throughout his career, Dick has served in multiple leadership positions with organizations such as the American Hospital Association, the Kansas Hospital Association, the California Hospital Association, the Hospital Association of Southern California, and the United Hospital Association. He is an active Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Allen recently received recognition from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the top 200 most influential leaders in the valley region, an area encompassing over 2.4 million people.
“We appreciate Dick’s commitment to Palmdale Regional and the healthcare of the Antelope Valley and thank him for his many contributions. His leadership in business development and hospital services expansion will be felt for many years to come,” says Richard Norris, Chairman of the Board of Palmdale Regional. “Dick’s retirement is well earned and on behalf of the board I wish him all the best as he begins new adventures.”