Merit Health removes interim tag and names Richaud River Region’s chief executive officer

Published 9:41 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

Benjamin Richaud, who has been serving as Merit Health River Region’s interim chief executive officer since December, has been named the medical center’s chief executive officer.
He joined River Region as chief operating officer in April 2016.
“I’m excited to be selected as chief executive officer,” he said of the appointment. “I feel fortunate. I feel privileged to be afforded the opportunity, (and) humbled by the challenge that lies before us, but confident we will reach all the goals and objectives we have to achieve.
“I think the biggest challenge for any health care administrator is being able to adapt to the ever changing scope of the health care field. “
He said he wants to provide an atmosphere where the hospital’s employees will feel good about coming to work and create an atmosphere where “physicians are able to ensure that their patients are receiving the finest quality of care, and making sure that patients seek treatment within the Vicksburg community first.”
“That’s very important for us. This facility’s greatest asset is the people in the building. Everybody involved, they are our greatest asset.”
As administrator, Richaud is over the system’s 1,000 employees, its clinics, and the services at its west campus off North Frontage Road.
He said he plans to visit the clinics in the River Region system.
“We have a doctor outreach program which myself and our director of physicians outreach will have scheduled visits with all our practitioners. It is very important to us that we maintain open lines of communications and a positive approach to all our referral base — doctors and patients.”
Before coming to Vicksburg, Richaud served as both the assistant chief executive officer and interim chief executive officer at Tennova Healthcare Dyersburg Regional in Dyersburg, Tenn., and began his career at SkyRidge Medical Center near Chattanooga, Tenn.
Richaud has a Master of Science in health administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a bachelor’s degree in communications and information sciences from the University of Alabama.
“We’ve had the privilege of working with Ben for nearly a year and are glad to continue working with him in his new role,” said Steve Dobbs, Merit Health CEO. “He has the right experience and will build on the quality and service Merit Health River Region already provides.”

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About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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