Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast announces new hospital president

Special to Gannett / USA TODAY NETWORK

MIRAMAR BEACH — Bryan J. Walrath, an experienced health care leader, has been selected to serve as president of Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast.

Walrath will replace Henry Stovall, who is retiring July 30 after 12 years of leading and contributing to Ascension Sacred Heart’s growth and success across Northwest Florida. 

Bryan Walrath

“I am excited to lead a nationally recognized hospital in one of the fastest growing counties in the country,” said Walrath. “I look forward to continuing the path of excellence that the hospital is known for while working to meet the changing needs of the area.”

Walrath has more than 25 years of leadership experience in health care, including over 20 years of military service in leading operations for multiple Army medical facilities.

Since 2018, Walrath  has worked as vice president of operations at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, a 356-bed acute care, academic hospital in St. Louis. The hospital is a regional leader in providing advanced services, including organ transplant, and is a Level 1 center for trauma, stroke and heart attack.

Prior to joining SSM Health, Walrath worked for a year as vice president of operations at a Cleveland Clinic hospital in the United Arab Emirates. During his Army career, his roles included chief operating officer at the Martin Army Hospital in Fort Benning, Georgia; chief executive officer at an Army Long-Term Acute Care facility in Fort Campbell, Kentucky; executive director of the Army Health Facility Planning Agency at Fort Bliss, Texas; and chief executive officer at the Army Health Clinic in Livorno, Italy. 

He received a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology as well as master's degrees in Building Construction and Architectural Engineering, also from Georgia Tech.

Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast is a full-service hospital with 24/7 emergency care for adults and children. The hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in the county for patient safety, experience and satisfaction.

It is a destination for specialty care including spine and joint replacement surgery, heart care and cancer care. The hospital's Family Birth Place is recognized as one of the top maternity facilities in the country.