Lourdes Health System, which has hospitals in Camden and Willingboro, announced Wednesday that Alexander J. Hatala retired as president and chief executive after nearly 20 years in those positions at the Catholic health system that is part of national giant Trinity Health.

Succeeding Hatala as president is Reginald Blaber, a cardiologist who has been executive director of the Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute, vice president of vascular services, and chairman of medicine at Lourdes.

Blaber has not been given the title of CEO, which within Trinity is now reserved for "regional ministries," a spokeswoman said.

In a note to staff, Michael Camardo, chairman of the Lourdes board, and Ben Carter, a Trinity executive vice president, said Hatala's departure did not affect plans for a partnership.

"Trinity Health and the Lourdes Health System board are in active discussions with a limited number of potential partner organizations. We hope to make an announcement soon," the note said.

Trinity, which is based in Livonia, Mich., also owns St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne and Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania.