Banner Health, the new owner of the Wyoming Medical Center, announced Tuesday that it has named the new chief executive officer of the Casper-based hospital system, according to a news release.

Lance Porter and his family will relocate to Casper from Payson, Ariz., where he is the CEO of Banner Payson Medical Center, according to Margo Karsten, Banner’s Western Region president.

Porter has been working in Casper for a couple of weeks to support operations since Wyoming Medical Center joined Banner on Oct. 1. That same month, the hospital began to see growing numbers of patients seeking care for COVID-19.

Porter brings more than 15 years in healthcare leadership to WMC including experience with hospital integrations.

He became CEO in Payson in 2014 and was there before, during and after that hospital’s integration into Banner.

Before that, Porter held leadership roles in large hospitals and academic hospitals in Illinois and New York.

He replaces interim CEO James Bleicher, M.D., who is also the hospital’s chief clinical officer.

“I want to thank Dr. Bleicher for stepping up to the challenge of leading WMC during this interim period for the past month," Karsten said in the prepared statement. "His leadership and dedication provided continuity for the staff as they bravely battled the COVID-19 spread."

Wyoming Medical Center is owned by Banner Health, one of the nation’s largest health care systems with 30 hospitals in six states. WMC is Wyoming’s largest hospital with 249 beds on two campuses, more than 45 medical specialties and 14 primary, specialty and immediate care clinics. As a regional trauma and referral center, WMC serves 11 Wyoming counties with more than 250,000 people. It operates Casper’s only full-service, non-profit hospitals with comprehensive heart, stroke and trauma care. For more information, visit its website.

Banner Health, based in Arizona, is one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the country. It owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and other services including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health operates in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit its website.

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