Hutcheson president and CEO Roger Forgey announced Baker’s resignation, effective May 18. Baker is moving to Duncan, Okla., Forgey said.
“It’s the home of Halliburton,” Baker said, when board members commented they’d never heard of Duncan, Okla. “There’s lots of oil, lots of natural gas out there.”
“It’s a loss for us,” Forgey said of Baker’s impending departure. “I want to thank her personally for the work she’s done.”
Forgey said Baker took on a lot of responsibility during a difficult period of transition for the hospital.
Last year, both Hutcheson and Erlanger Health System experienced a shake-up in leadership and have since initiated employee layoffs in an effort to cut expenses. Charles Stewart resigned as CEO from Hutcheson in February 2011. Former CEO Jim Brexler left Erlanger in December 2011. Erlanger recently announced the health system would form a search committee to find a permanent CEO. Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson has served as Erlanger interim CEO since Brexler’s departure.
Hutcheson entered a management agreement with Erlanger in May 2011. Both the small tri-county hospital and its parent company have lost millions due to decreased revenues blamed in part on a high rate of uncompensated care. As controller, Baker kept the board informed about Hutcheson’s ailing finances.
“You’ve been upfront, forward and honest,” hospital authority chair T. Darrel Weldon said.
“That’s because I’m a Yankee,” Baker responded to laughter.
The board resolved to formerly recognize Baker for her contributions as controller.
Forgey then introduced Hayes, who said he felt like he had “come back home.”
Hayes formerly served as Hutcheson’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer for most of the years between 1976 and 1987, according to Hutcheson marketing director Haley Johnson.
“In 1987, he formed HealthCorp (of Tennessee) with a group of investors and bought five hospitals, including North Park in Chattanooga,” Johnson said. “They sold North Park to Memorial Hospital in 1998, and he sold the remainder of the company in December 2008.”
A 1997 article in the Fort Oglethorpe Press quoted Hayes, then CEO of HealthCorp, as saying his company had no interest in taking over Hutcheson during the hospital’s restructuring in the late 1990s.
Hayes earned a bachelor in business administration from the University of Georgia and a master of business administration from Vanderbilt University. He is a certified public accountant.