NORMAL — The vice president of finance for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal and Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka is leaving for a career break, and her departure has nothing to do with BroMenn Healthcare System becoming a part of Advocate Health Care earlier this year, BroMenn officials said Friday.

Penny Cermak, who has been with BroMenn for 14 years and has been chief financial officer for nine years, will leave the organization at the end of September. She will be replaced by Aron Klein, director of finance at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Klein, 34, will join Advocate BroMenn and Advocate Eureka on Sept. 7 and will relocate to the Bloomington-Normal area with his family.

Advocate BroMenn President Roger Hunt told The Pantagraph that Cermak, 42, decided to move on, and her decision is not because of the Advocate merger or because of Hunt’s retirement announcement last month. Hunt, 67, will step down at the end of the year.

“Advocate would have been very delighted to have Penny stay,” Hunt said.

Cermak not only has played an important leadership role at BroMenn but also is known and respected among health care finance professionals beyond Illinois, Hunt said.

Cermak said her career is at a point when it’s time for a change, and the completion of the merger with Advocate makes it a logical time for the organization. She will spend time with her daughter, Eve, 3, and her husband, Mark, before taking her next career step.

Klein will be responsible for Advocate BroMenn and Advocate Eureka’s financial operating and capital plan, patient billing and collection, along with patient registration/access at BroMenn. He has a master’s degree in health care administration, is a certified public accountant and a certified health care finance professional.

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