Carlos Milanes has been named Aiken Regional Medical Centers' (ARMC) new chief executive officer. Milanes, who currently serves as the hospital's chief operating officer, will assume the position from CEO K.D. Justyn March 1. Justyn is retiring after seven years of service at ARMC. Milanes himself has been with the hospital for six years, moving to Aiken in 2003 from Miami, Fla. where he served as chief executive officer for Palm Springs General Hospital since 1991. "The comfort level is there because I've done this before. I miss this," he said. "You're actually the point person as CEO so you have a global perspective on things. I am extremely excited. I feel the transition from the current CEO will be smooth. I have support from all different constituents. I have received so many messages of support." Universal Health Services, which operates ARMC, reported it chose Milanes as Justyn's replacement because of his proven track record for quality improvement initiatives, business development, physician recruitment and hospital operations. Those are precisely the same areas which Milanes said he will focus on here. "We've come a long way in the last seven years," he said. "We have a solid infrastructure and we have expanded our services. We're poised to be a state-of-the-art, full-fledged medical facility. Two themes I want to continue with are quality and access. Quality is not static; it is ever dynamic. We will strive to be better; we will find new ways and better ways of doing things. "As far as access, existing practices are now open new hours and we have applied for a certificate of need with an office in the Village at Woodside. Woodside will construct the building and lease it to ARMC where we'll have MRIs, CT scans and other services." Every step toward the future of ARMC will be efficient, he added, which is key in this troubled economic time. "We are pleased to have Carlos Milanes leading ARMC into its next era of growth," said Marc Miller, senior vice president of Universal Health Services. "He is an excellent combination of a seasoned health care executive and visionary that UHS is proud to have." On March 1 Milanes will hit the ground running. In some aspects, he already has. "The staff here is extremely dedicated. They believe in a noble cause and I believe in them. We're an integral part of the success of Aiken County. I believe in what we offer," he said. SClB