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Mark H. Merrill retired in summer 2020 after serving 11 years as president and chief executive officer of Valley Health System, a not-for-profit health care system headquartered in Winchester, Virginia. Valley Health’s service area includes 16 counties/cities and serves over 500,000 residents of the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the panhandle of West Virginia and parts of Maryland. As president and CEO, Merrill oversaw a system of six hospitals, including the region’s only trauma center, multiple ambulatory care sites, a physician enterprise, home health agency, rehabilitation center and other health services. Valley Health employs more than 6,000 associates and generates annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. During his tenure at Valley Health, Merrill led development of clinical programs and service expansions, a system-wide facility recapitalization plan resulting in multiple new and replacement facilities, an expanded physician enterprise employing or aligning with over 250 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, the establishment of a freestanding cancer center, improvements in quality and patient safety and more. During his tenure, the health care system received statewide and national recognition for clinical performance and maintained A1/A+ ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, respectively.
Merrill has more than 35 years of experience in complex and diverse multi-institutional health care organizations in highly competitive, sophisticated markets as well as rural communities. Prior to joining Valley Health in 2009, Merrill served as executive vice president of Texas Health Resources (THR), headquartered in Arlington, Texas, and as president of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, a 650-bed referral center. As a member of the corporate executive management team, Merrill shared responsibility for the development, operations, financial performance, strategic positioning and success of THR and its member institutions. He was accountable directly for Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and other affiliated joint ventures, with combined annual operating revenues in excess of $700 million.
Merrill has served as a board member and, from 2018-2019, as chair of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA). He has been active in VHHA initiatives relating to quality and safety, delivery system and payment reform and workers’ compensation, and was honored by VHHA in 2015-2017 and 2019 with awards of excellence for his advocacy efforts to preserve quality health care around the Commonwealth. Merrill has served as a member of regional policy boards of the American Hospital Association in both the mid-Atlantic and South Central regions. Since retiring, Merrill continues to serve on the boards of Go Virginia Region 8, the Shenandoah University School of Business Advisory Board, Our Health and Blue Ridge Wildlife Center. He previously served on regional boards of the United Way, American Red Cross, Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas and others. Merrill remains actively involved with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health, where he has served as a board member and chair of the school’s foundation.
Merrill and his wife, Teri, reside in Winchester and have two adult children. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Gov. Ralph S. Northam appointed Merrill to the Commonwealth Transportation Board in 2020.