EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Evans Memorial Hospital recently selected a new CEO after their previous one retired.
Bill Lee has been in healthcare for 25 years. He said his goal is to bring long-term stability, continued growth and improvement to the hospital.
Lee has been on the job for just five days and if you ask him, he’ll tell you it’s not easy stepping into a leadership position during a pandemic.
“It’s always a struggle when we’re in the midst of the pandemic with COVID-19 coming into a new role, one of the things that I’ve found is it’s very difficult to plan because you don’t know when that spike may happen. We’ve seen that bubble happen recently in the last week here in the middle Georgia, Lowcountry area,” said Lee.
With previous financial struggles looming, Lee said those struggles will always be present, however they’re now at a point where they can breathe.
“As far as the financial health of the hospital, we are blessed that we have had some increased census, we’ve had some dollars that have flowed to us due to the CARES Act and other things that we can continue to support the operations of the facility.”
He said healthcare is a cornerstone of a community and they tend to keep it that way.
"Like every other rural hospital in the state of Georgia Evans Memorial struggles with consistency and stabilizing volumes, because ultimately at the end of the day you have to have volume to to be able to sustain your operations."
As for the search process for a new hospital leader, the board chair said it took about two months; narrowing their options down to three people, picking the right fit to keep the hospital moving forward.
“I was a little bit skeptical that we would be able to find someone because of the financial struggles we’ve had recently and it being a small hospital, small town. I’m very delighted with our choice and I think he’s going to do a great job, looking forward to working with him and looking forward to seeing what the vision is,” said Evans Memorial board chairman Patsy Rogers.
Both Lee and Rogers said they have been working closely with their human resources and emergency departments to stay prepared for any spikes in the virus.
They said their goal is to keep clinically and confident staff as they continue to look ahead.