Theodore “Ted” Baranik, a former hospital administrator and Cambria County commissioner, died unexpectedly Thursday at his home in Frederick, Md.
He was 82.
Baranik, the youngest of eight children, was born and raised in Windber.
He decided he wanted to work in a hospital after being hospitalized with a back injury while serving in the Army during the Korean War.
Baranik graduated in 1959 from what was then St. Francis College in Loretto, where he majored in business administration.
He received a master’s degree with a major in hospital administration from the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in 1961.
Baranik served his administrative residency at Altoona Hospital from June 1, 1960, to May 31, 1961, then was appointed administrative assistant. In 1962, he was appointed assistant superintendent at Altoona.
Baranik was appointed director of Memorial Hospital of Bedford County in 1965.
In 1971 he was named associate administrator of Mercy Hospital in Johnstown and moved his family from Bedford to Johnstown.
The new position was created to assist with the expansion of diagnostic and treatment facilities and to have additional lay personnel on staff.
Baranik became the first lay administrator of Mercy Hospital in 1972 and became licensed as
a nursing home administrator in Pennsylvania in 1975.
He retired from what had become Good Samaritan in 1989 when Mercy Hospital changed ownership, then served as administrator of DuBois Nursing Center from 1990 to 1991.
Baranik threw his hat into the political arena in 1990 when he announced he would run for county commissioner. As a result, he withdrew from consideration for the director’s position at Hiram G. Andrews Center in Upper Yoder Township. At the time, Baranik was the only candidate with a well-defined platform based on the issues and concerns of the taxpayers.
In a 1991 Tribune-Democrat article, Baranik said he got into politics because he was convinced one individual can make a difference in government.
He sought and won a second term as commissioner in 1995 and was named president commissioner despite not being the top vote-getter in the November election.
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