Woody Gilliland to lead WTRC Foundation, Board selects Steve Martin as new CEO of Rehab Center


Steve Martin, chief operating officer of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, has been selected as the center's new chief executive officer by the Board of Trustees.


Rehab board chairman Steven Ezzell said the "timing is right" to make a leadership transition to allow additional growth for both the center and its foundation.


Woody Gilliland, CEO of the Rehab Center for 15 years, will now focus on the Rehab Foundation while continuing to serve as its president.


"This orderly transition has been carefully studied by a selection committee comprised of Rehab board members representing both Abilene and San Angelo," Ezzell said. "Our multi-million-dollar Rehab Foundation exists to support annual operations, and with this transition it will experience even greater growth with a more direct focus by Woody.


"We are in the unique situation of having Steve Martin in position to carry on the operations of the Rehab Center," Ezzell continued. "Steve is educated and experienced in health care management and, in fact, has been supervisor of all our Rehab operations for several years."


Martin, who graduated from Texas Tech University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy and earned an MBA from Abilene Christian University in 2000, has been directing daily operations of the Rehab Center as COO since 2005.  His appointment as CEO is effective Sept. 1.


"I feel extremely fortunate to have worked for these past 15 years at the Rehab Center," Martin said, "and I have greatly benefited from Woody Gilliland's guidance and insights that have helped me grow as a leader and healthcare professional.


"I also feel humbled by the confidence the WTRC board has placed in me," Martin added. "I look forward to continue working with our patients and staff and our wonderful supporters in this new position."


Gilliland added, "The trustees have been positioning the Rehab Center and the Rehab Foundation for this move for some time, and there has been a committee of board members from Abilene and San Angelo studying it for several months. They believe this is the best time for the organizations to benefit from an orderly transition."


Ezzell said the selection committee conducted a careful selection process, considering both internal and external candidates. "This process resulted in the selection of Steve," Ezzell said.


"He is already intimately knowledgeable of the Rehab staff, patients and donors," Ezzell added. "We are fortunate to have this situation. In an operation with almost 300 employees, the advantages of an orderly transition such as this are tremendous."


Ezzell said the WTRC will begin a search to replace Martin as COO. Martin began his healthcare career in 1989 at the Dallas Rehabilitation Institute.  Later he served in several positions at Hendrick Medical Center and Hendrick Center for Rehabilitation (1991-2000), including rehabilitation administrator and outpatient program manager.


He is a member of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association and American Occupational Therapy Association.


Gilliland entered hospital administration after 26 years of active service in the U.S. Marine Corps, where twice he was decorated with the Purple Heart. Before joining the staff of the Rehab Center, he was CEO of Abilene Regional Medical Center and Marshall Medical Center.  He is a graduate of West Texas State University with master's degrees from Marymount University and U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.


He is a past chairman of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and affiliate of the American College of Healthcare Executives.