Bill Holman, president and chief executive officer of General Health System, announced his retirement effective immediately Tuesday after 12 years with the organization.

Dr. Evelyn Hayes was named interim president and CEO by the health system’s board of trustees to serve during the transition period.

General Health System said a national search for Holman’s replacement is under way and will include internal candidates.

In his retirement letter, Holman, 66, said stepping down was a personal decision, Nicole Kleinpeter, a spokeswoman for the General, said in an email. She said Holman will assist in the transition.

She said the General is not scheduling media interviews with Holman at this time.

“I leave Baton Rouge General and General Health System with a great deal of pride in what we have accomplished,” Holman said in a news release. “We have a board committed to fulfilling our mission, a dedicated medical staff and employees who are passionate, loyal and very caring.”

Among the General’s accomplishments cited are the region’s first seniors emergency room, its Pennington Cancer Center, Womack Heart Center and other multimillion-dollar facility expansions for surgical and outpatient care, according to its news release.

It said Holman led efforts to establish Baton Rouge General’s affiliation with Tulane University School of Medicine housed at Baton Rouge General’s Mid City campus.

Tulane’s satellite campus is expected to grow to serve more than 160 medical students each year.

Medical education initiatives at the General’s Mid City campus also include family medicine and internal medicine residency programs, a sports medicine fellowship program, and schools of nursing and radiation technology, the General said.

Holman was hired in 2001 as president and CEO. He previously oversaw two Rochester, N.Y., hospitals for the ViaHealth health-care system.

Scott Wester, chief executive officer of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, issued a statement saying: “Bill has made many contributions to our community, including his work at LHA (Louisiana Hospital Association) and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and we wish him well.”