Bethesda Hospital East, Bethesda Hospital West

Baptist Health veteran Nelson Lazo named CEO of Bethesda Hospital East, Bethesda Hospital West in Palm Beach County

October 25, 2019

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Oct. 25, 2019 – Nelson Lazo, a veteran chief executive at Baptist Health South Florida, has been named CEO of Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West in Palm Beach County. The hospitals merged with Baptist Health in 2017.

“Bethesda Board Chair Jeffrey Pheterson and I are very pleased to announce that Nelson Lazo has been selected as the CEO of Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West,” said Bo Boulenger, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Baptist Health South Florida.

Pheterson stated: “We are delighted that Nelson is joining our team in Palm Beach County. He has moved from success to success throughout Baptist Health, recently opening the state-of-the-art Miami HEAT Sports Medicine Center. Nelson is uniquely positioned to build on our successes with robust Centers of Excellence in Palm Beach County and guide Bethesda into the future of healthcare.”

At Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West, located in Boynton Beach, Fla. Lazo will succeed Roger Kirk, who will retire as CEO in December. Lazo will oversee the continued integration of the hospitals with Baptist Health, as well as expansion of services to support growth in Palm Beach County. Bethesda Hospital East was recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the best regional hospitals. Expansion plans are underway at Bethesda Hospital West for an ambulatory surgery center, additional beds and more operating rooms to better serve the growing community.

Lazo has a combined 12-year history with Baptist Health, most recently as CEO at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables for nine years. Under Lazo’s leadership, Doctors Hospital became home to the renowned Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute. The Institute recently opened the Miami HEAT Sports Medicine Center in partnership with the professional basketball team, the first partnership of its kind for an NBA team. With a staff of leading physicians, the Institute is the official sports medicine provider for the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Florida International University, Miami Open tennis tournament, the Orange Bowl, and the Miami Marathon.

Previously, Lazo enjoyed being a resident of the Upper Keys when he was CEO of Mariners Hospital. While there, he was active with the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce board. Before joining Baptist Health, he served in executive roles for healthcare organizations, including HealthSouth Corporation, Parkway Regional Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.

A deeply committed community leader, Lazo presently serves as the board chair of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Coral Gables Community Foundation Board and the Orange Bowl Committee. He served as past chair for the Miami-Dade Beacon Council and past co-chairman of the Beacon Council’s “One Community One Goal” initiative. As a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Lazo was a board chair for the affiliated Health Council of South Florida. Among the many honors Nelson received for professional and civic leadership, in 2015, Barry University recognized him with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his achievements, contributions to the community and support of the university.

About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, nearly 23,000 employees, more than 4,000 physicians and more than 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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