January 2013

NCH names Benink, Soper, Valukas to posts

After a nationwide search, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) announced that Dr. Eric Benink has joined NCH as its new chief medical officer. Benink, who comes to NCH from OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, started in his new post in early January.

Dr. Benink, who served as vice president and chief medical officer at Saint Anthony since 2006, has more than 20 years of experience as a physician. Before serving as CMO at Saint Anthony, Dr. Benink was the hospital's medical director of emergency medicine and medical director of the hospital's lifeline trauma helicopter.

"Dr. Benink was the clear choice after many rounds of interviews with finalists and a national search process that considered over 30 candidates," said Bruce Crowther, CEO of NCH. "His experience in developing systems with physicians that materially improve quality will prove especially important to Northwest Community Hospital as a differentiator. We are delighted that he has agreed to join our leadership team."

Dr. Benink received his MBA from George Washington University in 2008. He earned his BA from Southern Illinois University in 1982 and his MD from Rush Medical College in 1987. Dr. Benink served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force during the first Gulf War.

"I look forward to joining the distinguished team of physicians at NCH," Dr. Benink said. "I hope to continue to grow NCH's reputation as an award-winning hospital and world-class medical provider."

In addition to Dr. Benink's hiring, NCH's Board of Directors approved the Medical Staff Officers for 2013. Dr. William Soper was named president and Dr. Cindy Valukas was named vice president. Dr. Kirk Clark is secretary treasurer and Dr. Robert Longo is past president.