March 25, 2022 – Delray Medical Center’s Chief Operating Officer, , is selected as a member of Modern Healthcare’s 2022 class of Top 25 Emerging Leaders. Modern Healthcare, a leader in healthcare business news, research and data, annually honors emerging leaders all age 40 or under, making significant contributions in the areas of innovation and financial, operational and clinical excellence early in their careers.

Maria Morales Menendez

“We are proud of all of Maria’s accomplishments that have led to her well-deserved career advancement from administrative resident to chief operating officer during her tenure with the Palm Beach Health Network,” said Maggie Gill, chief executive officer of the Palm Beach Health Network and Delray Medical Center. “She was appointed COO at one of the most challenging times facing any healthcare professional. Despite being in the early stages of her career, she has proven to be an excellent leader, overseeing programs to enhance quality of care, patient safety, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to our employees and medical staff. Maria is a strong female role model for future healthcare leaders in our community.”

Morales Menendez was promoted to her current position as COO in the fall of 2021.  She is responsible for oversight of daily operations and development and implementation of long-range plans, goals and objectives at Delray Medical Center. As an integral member of the Palm Beach Health Network leadership team, Maria has led the charge on multiple operational enhancement projects including:

  • Expansion of cath lab suite for EP and radial cases
  • 2nd floor tower expansion to create 48 private rooms for surgical patients
  • Expansion of main operating room suite for robotic complex spine/neuro surgery
  • New satellite procedural suite for GI, urology, ortho & general surgery
  • Network LEAN, Throughput and Cost Efficiency initiatives

“The men and women who make up this year’s class of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders have certainly risen to the challenges hospitals have faced over the past two years.  Even in their young careers, these healthcare professionals all have impressive track records of innovation and accomplishment,” said Aurora Aguilar, editor for Modern Healthcare.  “The profiles of this year’s honorees, all age 40 or under, display the breadth of diversity and talent in this generation of healthcare leadership. Congratulations to all.”


About Delray Medical Center

For nearly 40 years, Delray Medical Center, part of the Palm Beach Health Network, is a 536-bed acute care hospital, has served the communities of South Palm Beach County. As both a community hospital and state-designated Level I Trauma Center located on a 42-acre medical plaza, Delray Medical Center has the ability to offer several specialized services including cardiac care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurosciences, emergency care and more.

Delray Medical Center is a recipient of the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for four years in a row, a designation recognizing superior performance of hospitals preventing the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications for patients during hospital stays.  The hospital is also a Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Failure for 19 years in a row (2003-2022).

Delray Medical Center is a state-designated Comprehensive Stroke Center by the DNV-GL and received Get With The Guidelines award for advanced therapy for Thrombectomy. In addition, the hospital earned the Get With the Guidelines – Heart Failure and Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in 2020. Delray Medical Center was also named by Healthgrades as a Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke for 14 years in a row (2008-2022).  Pinecrest Rehabilitation and Outpatient Hospital at Delray Medical Center is a CARF accredited rehabilitation unit, and the only state designated brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation program in Palm Beach County by the state of Florida, Department of Health. Delray Medical Center is also recognized as a high performing hospital in 2022, for the treatment of COPD by U.S. News and World Report.  The hospital is also a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence.  For more information about our services, visit our website at