Haley hospital chief will leave March 3

Prior to Lucas's appointment at Haley, he served as director of Miami VA Medical Center. During his tenure, he headed the Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Dublin, Ga., and Wilkes-Barre, and Erie, Pa.

"He will leave a culture of excellence and civility at the medical center here," said Michael Jorge, the Tampa hospital's associate director. "Every day, I learn something from him, a person with a calm demeanor and low voice who speaks in a powerful way."

Edward Cutolo Jr., the hospital's chief of staff, said Lucas's leadership qualities and his vision have enabled the center and its clinics to excel in their quality of health care, as well as improve staff and patient satisfaction.

Thomas Bowman, the hospital's senior adviser, will be the interim director until a replacement is selected.

A farewell reception for Lucas is planned from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the hospital's spinal cord injury unit dining rooms, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

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