A former Florida trial lawyer was named the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Martin Health System this past summer.

Robert L. Lord Jr. was appointed as the new president and CEO of the Florida-based Martin Health System on July 11. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was a senior vice president and chief operating officer of the company. He also served as the chief legal officer owing to his credentials as a certified health law expert in the Florida Bar. Lord joined Martin Health System in 1998.

Before joining Martin Health, Lord was an attorney and shareholder in the Florida law firm Crary Buchanan Bowdish Bovie Lord & Roby. One of Florida’s Treasure Coast’s oldest law firms, the company provides services for various areas including cases involving personal injuries, estate planning, civil litigation, divorce and family law, bankruptcy, securities arbitration, and real estate.

For his part, Lord specialized in health care law during his tenure with Crary Buchanan. He represented hospitals, physicians and mental health providers. Lord also handled cases involving those in the media, such as newspapers, television, and corporate clients, especially in relation to the First Amendment.

Before focusing his work in the these areas, Lord was a trial lawyer in civil litigation. His cases generally included complex commercial and contract litigation suits. He also handled cases linked to personal injury and wrongful death, professional malpractice defense, defamation defense, trust and estate litigation, and "fair hearings" in medical staff credentialing disputes. Lord worked with the law firm from 1986 to 1998.

Before the announcement of Lord’s appointment, Martin Health underwent a rigorous selection process to determine who would be the best person for the job. Apart from the board of directors, the ad hoc committee that was organized to participate in the process included the medical staff president, medical staff president-elect, and the chairman of the Martin Health Foundation Board. In addition, the company also sought the expertise of Korn Ferry International, a widely recognized organization focused on executive succession planning and recruitment.

John Loewenberg, the board chairman at Martin Health, said Lord’s notable professional contributions in the company have made him the ideal person for the post to be vacated by Mark Robitaille.

“Rob’s leadership, vision, commitment to excellence and interpersonal skills position him well to be the new chief executive officer of Martin Health,” said Loewenberg in a press release. He added, “During his tenure, Rob has demonstrated proven executive leadership in numerous roles across the health system. He has developed a reputation for collaboration with varied stakeholders, relationship building, sound financial management and a commitment to excellence that is the hallmark of what Martin Health strives to achieve.”

Loewenberg added, "We are grateful for the leadership and guidance Mark Robitaille has demonstrated through the years. His presence will continue to resonate until his retirement and well past that point. We will develop a comprehensive plan to ensure a smooth transition over the next year."

Lord obtained his juris doctor from the Stetson University College of Law in 1983. He completed a double major in political science and government and communications at Florida State University in 1980.

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