WellStar Health System Announces New Strategic Direction
Candice Saunders Named President & CEO Effective July 1
Jun 09, 2015, 10:59 ET
MARIETTA, Ga., June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The healthcare industry is going through a period of substantial transition. With ever-changing government regulations and reimbursements, health systems are looking for new efficiencies that will allow for higher quality, improved access to healthcare and the ability to maintain a competitive cost structure. As part of this evolving environment, WellStar Health System, a nationally recognized healthcare leader, is announcing a new strategic direction aimed at providing world-class healthcare to our communities and patients.
"After a few months of discussion and review with Emory University, the WellStar Board of Trustees has determined a new strategic direction," said Gary Miller, chair of WellStar Board of Trustees. "WellStar has declined to enter the next stage of discussions with Emory University. We respect Emory University as a leading, international academic medical center. WellStar will accelerate multiple horizontal and vertical integration opportunities with other potential partners. As previously announced 18 months ago, WellStar is enacting its succession plan. Candice Saunders will assume the duties of president & CEO effective July 1, 2015, and Reynold Jennings will be named chief strategy officer."
Saunders will be focused on building partnerships that will emphasize WellStar's role in all the communities WellStar serves while maintaining its not-for-profit status. As an example, WellStar Health System recently announced that West Georgia Health in LaGrange, Ga. is set to join the System.
"Candice Saunders is an inspirational leader and a nationally recognized figure in the healthcare industry," said Reynold Jennings, CEO of WellStar Health System. "For more than two years, I have worked closely with Candice on the direction and long-range planning for our System. Her strength and effective leadership will be a great asset for WellStar and our communities long into the future."
Saunders joined WellStar as president of WellStar Kennestone Hospital in 2007. Under her leadership, Kennestone became the largest tertiary regional medical center in the Southeast, which led to her role today as president and COO for the System. Her leadership has been recognized statewide, most recently with her appointment as the chair of the Georgia Hospital Association this year.
"At WellStar, we will continue to pioneer new treatments and innovative care models that will improve the lives of our patients and their families," said Candice Saunders, president & COO of WellStar Health System. "Over the past four years, Reynold Jennings has exemplified the role of a visionary leader. I look forward to building on his success as we shape the course for WellStar."
As chief strategy officer to Saunders, Jennings will be a major force in WellStar's new strategic direction exploring and launching new opportunities that will drive future growth and stability throughout the state of Georgia. During his four years as CEO of WellStar, Jennings has made a tremendous impact on WellStar and its communities. His visionary leadership has led to significant growth and innovation. A few of the many accomplishments that Jennings and Saunders oversaw: the opening of two Health Parks, a Pediatric Center, a new hospital in Paulding County; launching the Center for Health Transformation; and WellStar being recognized on FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work For® List for the past two years. Most importantly, their accessibility and transparency when communicating with team members and the community is a key foundation of WellStar's Great Place to Work® designation.
About WellStar Health System
WellStar Health System is the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia and serves a population of more than 1.4 million residents in five counties. The vision of WellStar is to deliver world-class healthcare. A national leader in the transformation of healthcare delivery, WellStar launched the Center for Health Transformation and has partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Institute leading to far-reaching effects on healthcare both locally and nationally. WellStar is regularly listed as a top employer nationally—most recently on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. WellStar includes WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital) and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals; WellStar Medical Group; Urgent Care Centers; Health Parks; Pediatric Center; Health Place; Homecare; Hospice; Atherton Place; Paulding Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and the WellStar Foundation. For more information, call 770-956-STAR or visit wellstar.org.
SOURCE WellStar Health System
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