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Wednesday November 22nd, 2017 12:28AM

Under new management: Habersham hospital gets second interim CEO

By Rob Moore Reporter

DEMOREST -- The Hospital Authority of Habersham County has named a more permanent interim chief executive officer.

Lynn Ingram Boggs succeeds Jerry Wise, who served as CEO from April 2013 to October 2017; and Barbara Duncan, the hospital's chief financial officer, who was named acting CEO recently until a more permanent interim CEO could be identified.

Hospital authority members say they believe Boggs is the right fit for Habersham Medical Center.

"In Lynn’s most recent role as president and CEO for Porter Medical Center, a 25-bed critical-access hospital in Middlebury, Vt., she led the board through short-term strategic planning, merger exploration, and financial improvement work," Hospital Authority Chairman Kim Crawford said in a written statement, “The authority is confident she’s the right leader for Habersham Medical Center as we continue to explore partnership and affiliation options.” 

In Boggs’ tenure with Porter Medical Center, the healthcare facility improved its expense run-rate by $1.5 million per year and completed its merger with University of Vermont Medical Center.

Closer to Habersham, Boggs has served as a senior healthcare leader, in the past eight years serving as senior vice president for Mission Health System in Asheville, N.C.; president and CEO for McDowell Hospital in Marion, N.C.; and executive vice president and chief operating officer for SSM Healthcare’s South Operating Group in St. Louis, Mo. 

She earned her master of business administration at Wake Forest University, her master of science in nursing at Medical University of South Carolina, and her bachelor of science in nursing at University of South Carolina. She is a licensed nurse in North Carolina.

“We are excited to work with Lynn, hospital leadership and a future partner to ensure access to needed services locally, including primary and specialty care service and ready access to tertiary care services," said Authority Vice Chairman Jack Fulbright, also in a written statement, 

Fulbright said Boggs’ expertise will be "a great asset in helping the authority realize its top priority: to maintain and enhance the long-term financial viability of the hospital, while recruiting and retaining providers and experienced nursing staff, stemming the outmigration of patients, and preserving local employment opportunities."

As one of only two hospitals within a 55-mile radius that is not affiliated with or part of a health system, Habersham has sustained operating losses for the past several years, as utilization and reimbursements declined. 

The authority continues to explore partnership and affiliation options to sustain the facility as a full-service acute-care hospital to meet a growing service area population.

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