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Livingston a candidate for hospital CEO

Memorial Hospital Authority Board Chairman Joe Livingston excused himself from a closed session of the board’s called meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 7, explaining that he plans to apply for the hospital’s top job.

Livingston explained his reason for leaving the session was because the other board members planned to discuss the open position of Memorial’s CEO, a position that became vacant when former CEO Jim Peak’s contract was terminated in November.

Livingston, who was nominated for appointment to the authority by Decatur County Commissioners, explained why he is seeking the job.

“I have a passion for this hospital,” Livingston said. “After 15 years of service on the board, with six of them as chairman, I feel it gives me a perspective of the problems this institution faces.”

Livingston went on to say that although he does not have a formal business education, he has run a business of his own, Livingston Resource Management, for 25 years.

“It doesn’t matter what the business or organization is, it boils down to people and inspiring employees,” he added.

Livingston said the first hour of the executive session to review the board’s strategic planning for the future and that he was very excited and felt good with what he saw so far.

“In the past we have always been reactive, but it is time we have to start being proactive,” he advised.

Livingston has said he has no plans to resign from the authority’s board while the CEO search continues.

The qualifications for Memorial CEO

After the meeting of the CEO search committee ended, Hospital Authority board member Charles Tyson presented a memorandum stating the authority was accepting applications.

Tyson and Southwest Georgia Oil Company executive Glennie Bench serve as co-chairpersons of the search committee.

The CEO would be responsible for overseeing management of the 80-bed hospital, 107-patient nursing home, and a 22-bed extended care home.

Qualifications for the job as stated are: “The Authority is looking for an individual with strong working knowledge of Georgia hospital operations and management. The applicant should have an outgoing personality and excellent interpersonal communication skills. Minimum educational requirements are a college degree in hospital administration, business administration, public administration, or equivalent and work experience managing a similar-sized organization or division. The ideal candidate should have strong planning skills, articulate communication skills, and should be a person who works well with his/her board, fellow employees, and medical staff.”

Other business

Livingston also advised that board member Mary Breedlove had submitted her letter of resignation from the board, effective Dec. 6, then added, “I would like to say the board is grateful for her service to the board and we appreciate her contributions. We wish her all the very best.”

During the regular session of the meeting, the board heard from interim co-CEO’s, Chief Financial Officer Billy Walker and Director of Nursing, Cynthia Vickers. They said they had been making rounds, asking the hospital’s staff for suggestions, talking with the doctors and holding weekly executive staff meetings. Both indicated seeing a more positive attitude and morale in the staff. Walker added, “There is a lot to do. We have a big challenge ahead of us, but by talking through the ideas and suggestions, we’ll see success. We can make improvements in this hospital.”

No financial information was presented at the regular meeting, but a $44,862 expenditure for replacement of a corroded radiology air handler was approved. Additionally, the board approved entering into a 48 month financing agreement with IBM for $118,880 for hardware for the electronic processing of medical records and registration.