RARITAN TWP., NJ – Long-time Hunterdon Healthcare System President and CEO Robert P. Wise will retire, according to a press release issued by the corporate parent of Hunterdon Medical Center.

The press release states that the news is shared “with a heavy heart.”

Wise wrote to his Board of Trustees, medical staff, employees and volunteers in an open letter, “It has been argued that the long-term stress and demands of my position are now real contributing factors and that my chronic health condition places me at greater risk of an untimely event.  Over the past few days I have spent many hours talking to my wife and family members.  They reminded me how fortunate I was 16 years ago.  It is time for me to practice what I have preached - ‘Family First’.”

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Wise took the reign of leadership of Hunterdon Healthcare System in 1990. He also serves as President and CEO for the system’s member organizations which include Hunterdon Medical Center, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, MidJersey Health Corporation and Hunterdon Regional Community Health.

Throughout his tenure, Wise’s progressive vision has made the Hunterdon Healthcare System the valuable community resource it is today. He spearheaded the creation of a diversified system to ensure the provision of comprehensive, high quality health care to the people in Hunterdon County and surrounding communities. Wise helped to form joint business ventures and partnerships to bring advanced technology to Hunterdon County.  Since 1991, he saw the organization’s revenues increase by 70 percent to more than $250 million with more than 2,500 employees.

Under his leadership, the Hunterdon Healthcare System entered into an affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer Center, which culminated in the opening of the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. Wise has also led the way in the expansion of Hunterdon Medical Center’s Maternity & Newborn Care Unit, Emergency Department and Operating Rooms, he opened two Hunterdon Health and Wellness Centers in Clinton Township and Whitehouse Station, the Norman and Denise Guilloud Cardiovascular Center, the expansion of primary and specialty care practices in Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren and Mercer counties, to name a few. 

In addition to leading the Hunterdon Healthcare System, Wise made a firm commitment to playing a key role as an active member of the community. He is a member of the Flemington Rotary and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Raritan Valley Community College. He has won numerous awards including the Flemington Business Association’s Business Man of the Year, Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award for Outstanding Medical Executive, New Jersey Hospital Association Executive Leadership Services Award, Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award and the Distinguished Citizen Award, Patriots’ Path Council Boy Scouts of America.

Wise’s last day with Hunterdon Healthcare System will be June 30. In the interim, he will be working on a transition plan for all current activities at the Health System. As Chairman of the Hunterdon Healthcare System Board of Trustees, Dr. Robert Cody will assume the role of acting President and CEO. 

Cody is a retired cardiologist. He has been a cardiovascular executive in the pharmaceutical/medical device industries, and in academic and community health systems. He is a recognized expert with an established career in cardiovascular research, particularly heart failure. His innovative approaches to research have extended to the identification and support of new technologies and emerging companies.  He has received several honors and, just last month, he received the Edward Bradley Award from the Medical Alumni Association of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia for a career of service, research and critical care. He and his wife of 39 years live in Hunterdon.