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News Releases / 2009

Ojai Resident Dr. Martin Pops Named as New Board Chairman for Community Memorial Health System

Ventura, California, 03/30/2009

Martin Pops, M.D., has been named the new Chairman of the Board for Community Memorial Health System. Dr. Pops assumed his new position upon election at the annual Board of Trustee meeting in January.

Dr. Pops has served on the system board since the merger of Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) with Ojai Valley Community Hospital (OVCH), most recently as Vice Chair to outgoing Board Chairman Gary Wolfe.
Pops praised Wolfe for his work and dedication to CMH in Ventura and OVCH. “Gary was a driving force in keeping the board and Community Memorial Hospital on an even course during the transition to the (new CEO & President) Gary Wilde era,” Dr. Pops said. “He is a very quiet-spoken, gentlemanly, bright and dedicated person.”

Dr. Pops’ description of his predecessor could be used to accurately describe him as well. In addition to his amiable leadership, energy and enthusiasm, Dr. Pops has shared his more than three decades of healthcare experience with the newly formed health system, as well as playing an integral part in transforming Ojai Valley Community Hospital into a modernized community-owned treasure.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Pops as our new Board Chairman”, states Gary Wilde, President & CEO of Community Memorial Health System (CMHS). “His guidance, expertise and passion, will be of a great benefit to the entire system and the communities we serve.”

Ten years ago, Dr. Pops joined OVCH’s Board of Advisors, and within two years was part of a local group of individuals who helped purchase the Ojai hospital and turn it into a locally-owned not-for-profit facility. Dr. Pops then served on the newly formed OVCH Board of Trustees and was its board chair in 2004 when the hospital merged with Community Memorial in Ventura, effective in 2005.

The merger formed what is now known as Community Memorial Health System, which encompasses OVCH, CMH, and nine family healthcare clinics known as the Centers for Family Health. The system employs approximately 2000 employees, including about 300 individuals at OVCH.
Dr. Pops received his medical degree from the University of Chicago. He then served a one-year internship and a three-year residency in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at UCLA Medical Center. He went on to serve on UCLA’s faculty and was involved with teaching, conducting research and treating patients for 30 years until he retired in 1996. Today, Dr. Pops retains the honor of being a Professor Emeritus.

The Ventura County hospitals are not the only beneficiaries of Dr. Pop’s generous community work. Dr. Pops is on the Rotary board and while serving as its president last year, he helped to initiate the group’s successful “Fit Kids, Fit Ojai” program. His wife, Barbara Pops, helped start the philanthropic OVCH Guild and recently served as the OVCH Foundation chair. They have been residents of Ojai for the last fifteen years, and have three children.

Dr. Pops enjoys infusing his energy into enriching the community. He shared, “When you get involved with volunteerism, I think you actually receive more gratification for yourself than the people you serve.”

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