published Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Memorial Health Care System restructures executive leadership

Memorial Hospital is located at 2525 de Sales Avenue in Chattanooga.
Memorial Hospital is located at 2525 de Sales Avenue in Chattanooga.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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With a shuffle of titles and positions, Memorial Health Care System officials say they're hoping to adapt to the giant shuffle in the health care industry.

The changes redefine Memorial's executive leadership. The system's two hospitals, Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital Hixson, now each will have a president, meaning system CEO James Hobson will shed the "president" part of his title.

"The economics of health care -- from health care reform to sequestration -- has challenged our way of operating and delivering health care for the communities we serve," Lisa McCluskey, vice president of marketing and communications, said in a statement.

"Over the past several years, we have sought ways to reduce variation in day-to-day operations and focus on best practices, and establishing common leadership structures will help us further our goal," McCluskey said.

Hobson will "focus his efforts on innovative strategies to integrate and enhance the care continuum across the region," a news release stated.

The two new presidents will focus on managing operations and will serve as community advocates. Both will report to Hobson, McCluskey said.

The new president of Memorial Hospital is Rick Napper, who most recently was president and CEO of Magnolia Regional Health Center, a 200-bed facility in Corinth, Miss.

Napper has more than 18 years of health care leadership experience at several systems in the South, Memorial officials said.

Deb Moore -- currently a senior vice president at Memorial -- is president of Memorial Hospital Hixson.

She joined the hospital as a nurse 25 years ago and since has served in several leadership roles at Memorial.

"The changing nature of our work compels us to develop a framework for a new leadership model with well-defined roles to accomplish complex, interdependent bodies of work focused on building value to our partners and patients," McCluskey said.

Contact staff writer Kate Harrison at kharrison@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6673.

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