Walker selected to lead hospital

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Billy Walker

The Authority of Memorial Hospital and Manor has chosen current chief financial officer and interim CEO William J. “Billy” Walker Jr. as the new chief executive officer.

In a special called meeting Tuesday afternoon, the board heard the recommendation of the search committee and voted to elevate Walker to the hospital leadership position. Details of the contract were said to be in the hands of the attorney and were not available as of press time. Once the contract is signed and agreed to by all the parties, Walker’s promotion will become effective.

Walker has been acting as an interim CEO since former president and CEO James Peak’s contract was terminated in November 2010. He was chosen from a field of 21 applicants, three of whom withdrew and one who did not return the necessary releases to conduct a background check.

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Newly elected board chairman Charles Tyson, who also served with Glennie Bench as co-chair of the search committee, said the field had first been narrowed down to seven candidates, then down to three finalists.

“Without question in my mind, we have chosen the best in the group. We have the possibility for long-term leadership in Billy Walker, and I am looking forward to working with him in this capacity,” said Tyson.

Walker responded by first stating his appreciation for the confidence shown in him by the hospital authority, then added, “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. I am very thankful for all the help I have received in the past five months. I think we have a common vision and common goal to make this the best hospital in the state.”

Walker, a resident of Bainbridge since 1992, began his employment with Memorial Hospital and Manor in 2000, serving as assistant chief financial officer from November 2000 to January 2004, when he became chief financial officer. Prior to 2000 he was employed by Harrell Equipment Company Inc. in Bainbridge.

In his letter to the CEO Search Committee, Walker cited his organizational skills and accomplishments as having managed a major revenue cycle transformation project that provided positive financial results during the project’s first year. Details include increasing cash collections over baseline by $793,958, reducing days outstanding in accounts receivable due from third party payers from 66.3 to 50.5, reduced the gross days of accounts receivable due from third-party payers greater than 90 days by $803,431, and produced a total net positive benefit after fees of $936,986.

As Interim CEO he has collaborated with employees and medical staff to gain their thoughts and concerns and has prepared a preliminary strategic plan for financial and operational improvements.

His educational background reflects a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Mercer University, Stetson School of Business and he has been a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Georgia since 1991. He is affiliated with Healthcare Financial Management Associates, American Institute of CPA’s, Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and with such community associations as the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA Board of Directors, Bainbridge Rotary Club, Finance Committee of First Baptist Church, and assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scouts Troop 502.

Newly appointed board member Alesia Brinson, who was attending her first meeting, was formally welcomed by Chairman Tyson and introduced to the other board members.