A New CEO, Wound Care Center and Structure at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital

The Tennessee-based health system, which includes Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Cherokee County, is looking for a new CEO.

Erlanger Health System, which operates seven hospitals and seven emergency centers, announced that CEO Dr. Will Jackson’s last day of work was June 10. Jackson first served as Erlanger’s chief medical officer before being appointed CEO in September 2019.

His departure comes after he threw his hat in the ring for a hospital CEO job in Florida. Jackson was one of four finalists, but was not chosen for first placeaccording to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The search for Erlanger’s new CEO will be led by the Management and Evaluation Committee of the Board of Directors. In the interim, Robert Maloney, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Gregg Gentry, chief administrative officer, and Lynn DeJaco, chief financial officer, will work together to lead the system.

Erlanger announced in February that it was taking steps to become a 501(c)3 charity. The hospital system is a quasi-governmental entity that was created as a Chattanooga-Hamilton Hospital Authority.

“It’s complicated,” Erlanger board chairman Jim Coleman said in February.

“In 1977, Hamilton County and state legislators passed the current private law that we are under, when the Chattanooga Health Authority was created, so it was a nonprofit. We are now a 501(c)3 but we are also a government entity. So we’re like a quasi-governmental entity,” Coleman explained in February.

“Which has some of the strings attached in terms of bureaucracy and bureaucracy that go along with being a government entity. So that’s part of it. We are really looking to move to a private independent 501(c)3,” he continued.

He says the new structure will add flexibility to explore new partnerships and allow additional access to capital.

A bill to make the change has been introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives in April where he walked quickly past the House and Senate. The bill was signed by the Governor at the end of May.

Erlanger says he is the only provider of tertiary care services in a 50,000 square mile region of southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia, northern Alabama and western La North Carolina.

On Tuesday, June 21, Erlanger Western held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new wound care center and announced that Dr. Andrew B. Beeghly will serve as medical director.

Beeghly previously served as medical director of wound care and hyperbaric medicine at EWCH, before stepping down for a military deployment, according to a news release.

EWCH CEO Stephanie Boynton said the hospital was delighted to bring wound care services back to the hospital.

“Patients will have easy access to specialty clinics, including surgery, cardiology, orthopedics and urology,” Boynton said in a news release. Boyton is also CEO of Erlanger Bledsoe in Pikeville, Tennessee, which also includes the Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department in Dunlap, Tennessee.

The wound care center includes a patient waiting room and four examination rooms. There are plans to install a hyperbaric chamber for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the future.