Finalists named for hospital’s CEO

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Memorial Hospital’s CEO search committee narrowed its candidates down to three, including Billy Walker, the acting co-CEO.

Charles B. Tyson, co-chairman of the Hospital Authority’s search committee, said Monday the board received 21 applications, of which three withdrew and one did not return the request for permission to run a background investigation, leaving a total of 17 to be considered.

The three finalists are Walker, James D. Janek of Adel, Ga., and W. Douglas Arnold of Prattville, Ala.

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The board has approximately 14 days or longer to announce a new chief executive officer, which has been vacant since November when the Hospital Authority unanimously voted to terminate the contract with Jim Peak, who started at the hospital in 2003. One of the main reasons cited for Peak’s termination was that the board was “not comfortable” with the finances of the hospital, which is governed by the board that is made up of appointed members from Decatur County and the City of Bainbridge.

Walker is the current chief financial officer of the hospital, which he wrote in his letter applying for the CEO position has “allowed me to gain extensive knowledge of the innermost operations of the hospital.”

Walker said he has increased cash collections, reduced days outstanding in accounts receivable due from third-party payers, instituted other cost reductions and decreased delays in collections. He said he has also prepared a preliminary strategic plan for financial and operational improvements.

Since 2004, Walker has been the CFO, and was assistant CFO from November 2000 to January 2004. From April 1992 to October 2000, Walker was the chief executive officer with Harrell Equipment Company/LMC Bainbridge, LLC.

Arnold, who is familiar with Bainbridge after serving almost eight years (1988-1999) as the CEO of Grady General in Cairo, says he has 25 years of CEO experience in the administration, syndication and financial turnaround of health care systems. Although doing consulting work presently, Arnold worked as CEO for two years (2008-2010) at Community Health Systems of Nashville, Tenn., and for six years (2002-2008) at Health Management Associates HMA of Naples, Fla.

Janek, who applied after learning of the opening from a colleague, has been president of JD Janek and Associates Inc. in Adel since September 2010. The company provides interim executive management services in change management environments and manages real estate investments. From December 1989 to May 2005, Janek served in a similar capacity, working with various hospitals from Wyoming to Vermont and in Milledgeville, Ga.

For five years, Janek served as the chief executive officer of Berrien County Hospital in Nashville, Ga. He also served as the CEO for more than a year of Memorial Health System in Adel.