Mississippian picked as River Region CEO

Published 12:06 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Doug Sills, who grew up less than 40 miles from Vicksburg, has been chosen as the new chief executive officer for River Region Health System, the company announced this morning.

Sills, 56, replaces Vance Reynolds who left for a similar job in his hometown of Sherman, Texas, after two years at the helm of River Region Medical Center, Vicksburg’s only hospital.

“We are very pleased to have found someone of Doug’s caliber and credentials to lead River Region, and we feel his long and deep roots in Mississippi will be of special benefit,” said Howell Gage, Chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees. “He is the perfect person for this position and will help build on River Region’s many successes.”

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Sills is a native of Belzoni who grew up in south Jackson. He has nearly 30 years of health care management experience and has received numerous awards and honors for professional achievement.

He will begin his new position on Jan. 3.

“River Region has outstanding physicians, excellent technology and a terrific staff,” said Sills. “I am truly excited about the opportunity to return home to Mississippi and be a part of such a great organization.”

Sills currently is CEO of Northern Louisiana Medical Center in Ruston, La., where in three years he recruited about 40 physicians, opened a level II neonatal intensive care unit and added a new catherization laboratory.

“He has high energy and good foresight,” said Diane Gawronski, RRMC’s vice president for marketing and business development. “He is very interested in continuing to move River Region forward into areas we have not yet reached. We are all looking forward to him starting with us.”

Sills is also credited with recruiting two interventional cardiologists and one vascular surgeon, greatly improving patient care and employee and physician satisfaction, a press release from Gawronski said.

“Doug’s commitment to excellence in hospital operations and patient outcomes will be well received by the medical staff here at River Region,” said Dr. Briggs Hopson, Jr., vice president of medical affairs. “Our medical community is looking forward to working with him to continue moving our organization forward.”

In addition to his professional duties, Sills has also been involved in organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Kiwanis Club and United Way.

He attended Forest Hill High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pre-med from Mississippi College.

Sills and his wife, Rebecca, have two adult children.

Reynolds, who announced his resignation Nov. 10, had replaced Phillip Clendenin in December 2008.

Both Northern Louisiana and River Region are subsidiaries of Community Health Systems of Franklin, Tenn. The company operates 126 for-profit general acute-care hospitals nationwide as well as home health care agencies, primarily in areas near its hospitals. CHS also provides management and consulting services to nonaffiliated facilities.

River Region was created in 1998 from the merger of ParkView Regional Medical Center, formerly Mercy Regional Medical Center, and Vicksburg Medical Center. The current hospital opened in 2002 and is staffed by 1,600 employees. It has 372 licensed beds and 119 active physicians.