VACAVILLE — Max Villalobos, who served for more than three years as the Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano area manager and senior vice president, is moving to another job with the company in the San Diego area.
Villalobos guided Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to establish a trauma center at its Vacaville hospital. The hospital in November 2013 became Solano County’s only Level II trauma center.
“I’m moving on for family reasons,” Villalobos said Wednesday. “My family and my wife’s family are all down there. This creates a great opportunity to stay with Kaiser Permanente, which is a great organization I’ve invested 18 years with.”
He will leave the Solano-Napa job in a month, Villalobos said. His new title will be chief operating officer with the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Region.
Before coming to the Napa-Solano area in October 2010, Villalobos guided Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to establish a Level II trauma center in Sacramento. He then did the same for the Vacaville hospital.
As a Level II trauma center, the Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center can treat victims of violence and accidents who suffer head and spine injuries. NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield competed with the Kaiser Permanente hospital for Level II status, with only one such center being permitted in the county under state rules.
Also in 2013, Kaiser Permanente opened its Family Birth Center at its Vacaville hospital. Before that, Kaiser Permanente patients from Vacaville who were giving birth used the Vallejo hospital.
All of that capped off a flurry of activity by Kaiser Permanente in Solano County. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente opened a replacement for its Vallejo hospital. In 2009 , it opened the Vacaville hospital. Villalobos said Kaiser Permanente over 10 years has spent more than $1 billion in the Solano County area.
Now the focus is on continuing to provide great quality of care and improve services, Villalobos said.
Villalobos said the thing he’ll remember most about his tenure in Solano and Napa counties is the people.
“I just established some great relationships here,” he said. “The community is just tremendous. Tremendous community support.”
Vacaville Mayor Steve Hardy on Wednesday praised Villalobos.
“I think he’s done a darn fine job for Kaiser, seeing them through the campaign for the trauma center,” Hardy said. “I guess there’s new fields to conquer. I think he’s a tremendous employee and I think he’s well-liked by people up here.”
The Vacaville Chamber of Commerce recently chose Kaiser Permanente as its 2013-14 business of the year.
Kaiser Permanente has yet to name a replacement for Villalobos as Napa-Solano area manager.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.