River Region picks chief from S. Carolina hospital

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

After a five-month search, River Region Medical Center has named Vance Reynolds as its new chief executive officer.

Vance Reynolds took over administrative duties Monday. The position had been held on an interim basis by former chief operating officer Brad Holland.

Reynolds comes to River Region from Chesterfield General Hospital in Cheraw, S.C. A statement issued by River Region described his history of directing hospital renovations and imaging technology upgrades at the hospital in north-central South Carolina as the high points in his 10-year career in health-care management.

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River Region is staffed by 1,600 employees. It has 372 licensed beds and 119 active physicians. Chesterfield General has 237 employees and has 59 licensed beds and 54 active and courtesy physicians. Both are owned by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.

“Vance is a seasoned health-care administrator and a dynamic leader,” said Hal Gage, chairman of the hospital’s local board, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have him join the River Region team.”

Reynolds holds degrees in accounting from the University of North Texas and a master’s of business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Holland, who had served as interim CEO since the resignation in July of Phillip Clendenin, is transferring to San Angelo Community Hospital in San Angelo, Texas.

Reynolds’ hiring is the latest in a series of changes since the hospital’s former corporate parent, Triad Hospitals, merged with Community Health Systems in 2007.

Physician teams have replaced on-staff cardiovascular surgeons with the hospital considering the same as a supplement to its emergency-room doctors. Staff at its Marian Hill chemical dependency unit will move off McAuley Drive into the third floor of River Region West on North Frontage Road by mid-2009. Also, staff retained at the closed Vicksburg Clinic have moved from the West Campus and merged into The Street Clinic on Grove Street and Physicians Practices of River Region, a complex of outpatient clinics in Vicksburg.

As part of ongoing litigation, on Dec. 1, the hospital on U.S. 61 North ceased non-emergency in-patient care for Medicaid patients from Louisiana, citing inequitable reimbursements from Mississippi’s neighboring state. A lawsuit filed in the Baton Rouge-based 19th Judicial District Court is pending and has asked for unspecified amounts based on what the hospital feels it should have been paid over the past five years.

Community Health Systems Inc. is the largest publicly traded hospital company in the United States. It owns, leases or operates 118 hospitals in 29 states, most of them in small and midsized markets.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com.