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Bedford Memorial Hospital’s CEO Patti Jurkus (from left)and Centra’s Senior Vice President of Community Hospitals Bill Bass are interviewed Tuesday in Bedford. Bass will be replacing Jurkus as the hospital’s CEO after Jurkus retires Friday.

BEDFORD — Bill Bass Jr. said starting work in Bedford next week will feel like “a homecoming.”

“I love it here,” said Bass — who was named the new CEO of Centra’s Bedford Memorial Hospital on Monday. “The culture and the atmosphere feels like family. I can’t imagine a better place for me.”

Bass — who has been employed with Centra since 2006 — is replacing long-time BMH CEO Patti Jurkus, who is retiring Friday after a 30-year career in healthcare. Jurkus — the Bedford hospital’s first female CEO — has held the position since 2009.

“It has been a blessing to work here and it has been amazing to see what we have accomplished as a team,” Jurkus said. “We have an amazing team at Bedford and our success can be credited to their hard work.”

Jurkus plans to remain in the area after her last day on Friday.

“This is home and I’m not going anywhere,” Jurkus said. “This will continue to be my hospital and my family’s hospital.”

Jurkus — who oversaw several renovations to the Bedford facility during her time as CEO — said it seemed like “the perfect time” for a transition in leadership at Bedford Memorial Hospital.

“I think I accomplished everything I wanted to do during my time here and it seemed like a good time to hand the reins over,” Jurkus said. “Bill is the perfect choice for this position. I couldn’t think of a better person to assume this role because his focus has always been on the community.”

Amanda Stanley, chairwoman of Bedford Memorial Hospital’s Board of Directors, agreed.

“Our board is pleased to welcome Bill into this new role at Bedford,” Stanley said. “We have our eyes on the future — and we will partner with him to ensure we continue to take the very best care of our friends and neighbors. To serve in Bedford is an honor and we welcome Bill as he joins us.”

A graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, Bass worked as the chief financial officer for Martin General Hospital in Williamston, North Carolina, and Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina, before taking a CFO position at Southside Community Hospital in Farmville in 2003. After Southside Community Hospital joined the Centra network in 2006, Bass continued as the facility’s CFO until 2013, when he was named CEO of the hospital. Since 2015, Bass has served as Centra’s senior vice president of Community Hospitals and has worked with staff and leaders in both Lynchburg and Bedford.

“I have worked with Patti for a number of years now and she is a tremendous leader,” Bass said. “I just want to continue her momentum and keep up the great work that has been going on here.”

Bass said he also is looking forward to developing relationships with the community in Bedford.

“I’m a people person and I love getting out and talking to people,” Bass said. “Bedford is such a wonderful place and I can’t wait to be able to get out and talk with people about how we can serve them. I’m really excited to get started.”

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