Hospital changes CEO again

By Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

September 12, 2013

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has appointed a new acting CEO.

The Board of Trustees of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has appointed Mary Blackburn, MSN, as acting CEO to succeed Michael Arno.

This is the third CEO or acting CEO to serve the hospital in 2013.

Mr. Arno held the position of interim CEO from May through August 2013.

In May, Arno replaced David Loving, who served as CEO for the hospital for three years prior to his departure.

In a May press release, HCMH indicated that David Loving departed in search of other opportunities. However, unlike the hospital release on Loving’s departure, no reason was provided on what led to Arno’s departure.

The trustee board chair did indicate, however, that board members are close to finding a permanent CEO.

“We have identified potential CEO candidates with credentials that will allow for the continued prosperity and growth of health care services at Hugh Chatham,” said Michael Stanley, chairman of the board.

According to the release, interviews and the selection process have been completed and a new candidate will be announced in the very near future.

“The board extended its gratitude to Mr. Arno at the end of August for his leadership during this transition,” Stanley said in the release. “As Acting CEO, Mary brings proven success in clinical, management and financial areas to assure stable leadership over the next few weeks. Our appointment recognizes her strong allegiance to Hugh Chatham and her dedication to the best and safest patient care.”

“At Hugh Chatham, I have had the privilege for the past six years of working with the finest team in health care. I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence together,” Blackburn said in the release.

Blackburn joined Hugh Chatham in 2007. She has served as Chief Practice Officer for the past four years, overseeing 10 physician practices, a hospitalist program, an outpatient endoscopy center and centralized billing. Before coming to Hugh Chatham, Blackburn had extensive experience in physician practice management, nursing leadership, and nursing education. She earned her Master’s degree at Duke University and her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Georgetown University. Blackburn achieved the rank of Captain in the United States Army and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Medical Group Management Association.

In August, HCMH made headlines by announcing that Mountain View Medical Center and Boomer Medical Center of Wilkes County have signed a management agreement with the hospital. According to a release at the time, they will bring additional resources in information technology, specialized equipment, and training into the two medical centers.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.