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Ashe Memorial Hospital CEO resigns

R.D. Williams will retire from CEO of Ashe Memorial Hospital the AMH Board of Trustees announced Friday.

Originally published: May. 10, 2013
Last modified: May. 11, 2013

Staff Reports

The Board of Trustees of Ashe Memorial Hospital announced Friday the resignation of hospital CEO R.D. Williams.

Williams has served as CEO of Ashe Memorial Hospital for the past 18 years, and has been an involved member of the community, according to a press release issued by Ashe Memorial Hospital May 10.

"As a strong leader, tireless mentor and champion for community health, R.D. has positively impacted the lives of Ashe County residents for nearly two decades," Ashe Memorial Hospital Board Chair James G. Gambill said. "He has been an asset to our hospital and community and our gratitude to him cannot be overstated."

Williams will continue as AMH CEO through May 30, when he will depart to Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston, Fl.

"A nationwide search for a new permanent CEO is underway and an interim will be named to this position at the end of the month," according to AMH. "There is no current time frame for the search to be completed."

On July 26, 2012, Gambill confirmed ongoing contract negotiations with Novant Healthcare, a not-for-profit group of hospitals and physician practices across the southeast. The decision to sign with Novant came as the board of trustees evaluated AMH's current management company, Quorum Health Resources, whose three-year contract expires this year.

Trustees ultimately selected Novant from multiple candidates, including Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

“From time to time, management contracts expire and are renewed,” said the board in a prepared statement. “After reviewing the management choice for AMH, the board of trustees has selected Novant as the best available. We feel this choice will allow the hospital to not only continue to provide excellent primary care to the citizens but also expand services and move toward being the best primary care anywhere.”

The selection of Novant severs a more than three decade relationship with Quorum, according to Gambill, and ends William's employment, who remains a Quorum employee.

“R.D. has a non-compete clause, so there wasn’t an option to keep R.D.,” said Gambill in July 2012. “He’s been there for 17 years as CEO, in a time when most hospital CEO’s only last two-and-a-half years. He’s been great, and he’s had to make some tough calls. We, and the community, will miss him.”

During his tenure, Williams worked to establish the Ashe County Health Council, a Healthy Carolinians Task Force and its successor organization the Ashe Health Alliance.

"These organizations bring together the health and human service providers and volunteers in the county to work together to address identified health needs and disparities in Ashe County’s communities," according to AMH. "Williams has also recruited 20 physicians to the Ashe County Medical Community, most recently...Dr. Terry Williams, D.O., FACOG, a new OB/GYN."

Under his watch, AMH has received local, state and national awards including the American Hospital Association’s Nova Award, National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Rural Health Organization of the Year, Most Wired for Information Technology and iVantage Top 100 Critical Access Hospital Awards.  

"R.D. was an influential and positive part of the Ashe Chamber and of Ashe County for a number of year," Executive Director of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Cabot Hamilton said in a May 9 email. "I am sure that I speak for all of you in wishing R.D. and his family the best. He will be missed."
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.