Bruce Bartels, the WellSpan Health president credited with creating the county's largest employer, will retire next year.

Bartels on Tuesday afternoon announced he will leave his post at the end of 2013, said Barry Sparks, spokesman for WellSpan.

The WellSpan board will work with Bartels to develop transition plans and identify a new leader, but no timetable has been determined for when that process will begin, Sparks said.

Bartels began his career with the organization in 1988, first serving as president of York Hospital.

"He was the only president and CEO of WellSpan. It was created on his watch," Sparks said.

During Bartels' leadership, WellSpan has made "tremendous gains in the community," forging partnerships, collaborating with various organizations in the region and providing more than $18 million each year in uncompensated medical and outreach services, he said.

The WellSpan name is affixed to numerous buildings in the area, including 35 outpatient health care locations, a regional home care organization and three hospitals-WellSpan York Hospital, WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and the WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital in York Township.

During Bartels' leadership, WellSpan has also partnered with Hanover Hospital, and Hospice & Community Care in Lancaster County.

WellSpan's growth during his presidency has led to more than 9,000 jobs in the region, Sparks said.


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Sparks said he didn't know if Bartels will be retiring for good or taking on a new role elsewhere.

Bartels was not immediately available for comment, as he is out of town on business until next week.

Prior to working at WellSpan, Bartels served as chief operating officer for the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and was a health administrator at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and the University of Chicago.

He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.