SOUTH BEND - The chief executive officer of South Bend-based Beacon Health System is stepping down. Phil Newbold has served as CEO for 30 years and will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Kreg Gruber.

The transition will officially take effect November 1. Beacon says Newbold will remain with the organization until the end of the year to "provide transitional support."

Newbold says the move is the "beginning of a new chapter." Among his accomplishments during his tenure as CEO, Newbold led Beacon to become the first Indiana hospital to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, oversaw the $50 million expansion of Beacon Children's Hospital in downtown South Bend as well as the introduction of the region's first MedFlight service.

"After 30 years of dedicated leadership, we find ourselves grateful for Phil’s steady influence," said Dan Morrison, chairman of the Beacon Health System Board of Directors. "He has uplifted the potential of the organization, overseen the expansion of more sophisticated and quality health care in our region, and fostered an environment where creative thinking regularly leads to innovation."

The board says it expects a smooth transition as Newbold steps down and Gruber takes over.

"The full board completed a very thorough and thoughtful process to select our next CEO," said Morrison. "Outstanding succession planning ensures us that under Kreg’s leadership, the health system will continue its tradition of excellence, high quality and innovative spirit."

Gruber has served in a variety of leadership positions within Beacon Health System. He has served as president of Memorial Hospital in South Bend, president of Elkhart General Hospital and president of Beacon Medical Group.