Hospital CEO going to new venue

Published 9:45 am Friday, May 2, 2014

FRANKLIN—Southampton Memorial Hospital’s loss is Munroe Regional Medical Center’s gain. Phil A. Wright II has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of SMH, and will become Chief Operating Officer of the Ocala, Florida’s 421-bed medical facility later this month.

Phil Wright II

Phil Wright II

Wright, who came on board locally in 2010, said the new opportunity arose when Munroe was acquired on April 1 by Community Health Systems; SMH is also under that company’s umbrella.

“The new Division was created to accommodate the newly acquired hospitals from Health Management Associates,” said Wright. “That new Division (6) is comprised of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina…Florida is my home state and there obviously was mutual interest regarding the opportunity.”

Kim Marks, assistant chief executive officer for SMH, noted in a press release about Wright’s departure that, “During his tenure at Southampton, Wright led the hospital’s work to provide patients with quality, personalized care, which ultimately earned the hospital to the highest patient satisfaction in Hampton Roads for two years. The hospital recruited physicians, built a new medical office building and outpatient rehab center, and added new service lines to meet the community’s needs.”

Wright explained about the differences between his current and future positions.

“As chief executive officer, I obviously have oversight of everything. There as chief operating officer, I can take off my strategy and vision hat and put on more of an operations hat,” he said. “My responsibilities as chief operating officer will be to focus on ensuring the day-to-day functions of the hospital are run efficiently and with a focus on excellent customer service. The hospital before being acquired was independently managed. Every organization is different and there will inevitably be changes in the culture that will take time to adjust to. Being familiar with CHS and their culture, I believe I bring a skill set that can assist with those changes.

“It’ll be a big challenge. It’s a really good hospital and has wonderful recognition from a quality standpoint. There are very good physicians. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Parting from Southampton Memorial Hospital will be sweet sorrow for Wright.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “I’ve made some wonderful relationships and friends forever. This Franklin and Southampton area has been wonderful to work with and wonderful to my family. I’ll definitely be staying in touch. I have a vested interest in this hospital [SMH] doing well in the future.”

“We are a stronger organization today thanks to Phil’s leadership,” said Teresa Beale, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees at Southampton Memorial Hospital. “He has helped us sustain our high standards for quality and patient service and leaves us well-positioned for the future. We wish Phil well as he moves to this new opportunity.”

Members of the Board of Trustees, medical staff and administration will begin looking to fill the CEO position.