The Wilson Times

Friday, March 28, 2014 12:04 AM

New Wilson Medical Center leader named

By Jon Jimison | Times Editor

Wilson Medical Center has a new leader.

William E. "Bill” Caldwell has been named chief executive officer of the hospital, Duke LifePoint Healthcare and the Wilson Medical Center Board of Trustees jointly announced this week.

Caldwell begins work on Tuesday. He succeeds former President and CEO Rick Hudson, whose retirement became effective upon completion of a joint venture deal between Wilson Medical Center and Duke LifePoint March 1.

Caldwell previously served as chief operating officer of LewisGale Medical Center, a 506-bed hospital and regional referral center in Salem, Va.

Caldwell said he’s excited about the opportunity to lead Wilson’s hospital into the future.

"Wilson has a great team of employees, physicians and volunteers, and I look forward to working with them to continue strengthening the hospital and growing services to meet the health care needs of residents of Wilson County and surrounding communities,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell will move to Wilson with his wife Lori.

Officials point to his history of community service and involvement.

Caldwell has worked in other roles, including vice president for Physician Practice Management for LewisGale, overseeing the operations of more than 130 provider practices, including a large, multi-specialty clinic, officials said.

Previously, he served in various executive roles for Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and Retreat Hospital in Richmond, Va., and John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell, Va.

Under terms of the joint venture agreement, Duke LifePoint owns 80 percent of the Wilson hospital while Wilson Medical Center owns the remaining 20 percent.

The contribution agreement reached between the parties calls for $120 million in capital investments at Wilson Medical Center over the next decade.

Jerry Dooley has been serving as interim CEO since the merger took place. He will vacate the role once Caldwell begins work.

"Bill comes highly recommended and will surely be a tremendous asset to our hospital,” Frank Batten, chairman of the Wilson Medical Center Board of Trustees, said in a statement. "I am confident that he is a good fit for our community and the right person to lead our hospital into the future.”

Jeff Seraphine, president of the Eastern Group for LifePoint Hospitals, said they are confident Caldwell is the best, most qualified person to fill this role.

"He has extensive health care management experience, having served in executive leadership roles for hospitals and health systems in the southeastern region for more than 30 years,” Seraphine said.

Caldwell holds a master of health administration degree from Ohio State University and a bachelor of business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

William F. Carpenter III, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of LifePoint told The Wilson Times after a recent gathering in Wilson he expected finding a CEO wouldn’t be difficult due to the strength of the community and hospital.

He also noted a strategic planning process is already under way for the hospital’s future.

"We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Carpenter said. "We want to make sure we listen to the community first, and that we don’t come in with any preconceived notions because this hospital is a very good hospital.”

As part of the process, they will look to assess and enhance services, officials said.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina attorney general’s office signed off on the Wilson Medical Center-Duke LifePoint merger. The Wilson County Board of Commissioners also signed off on the deal.

Governance of the Wilson hospital will be split 50-50 through a 10-member board with five Duke LifePoint members and five Wilson members.

Duke University Health System calls Durham home. LifePoint Hospitals is headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn. LifePoint is the managing partner.

Wilson Medical Center, which has more than 1,300 employees, has emerged as the third-largest private employer in Wilson County. The hospital and its related facilities sustain a $56 million payroll and has 294 beds. It will become a taxpaying entity now that the deal has closed. | 265-7813

©The Wilson Times, Wilson, North Carolina.
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