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Brewton native named CEO of the year in Georgia

By Staff
Staff reports
The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals (GACH) named Tift Regional Medical Center president/CEO William T. Richardson &#8220CEO of the Year” at an annual awards banquet on Oct. 13.
Richardson, a native of Brewton, was honored for spearheading a statewide initiative that led the Georgia Department of Community Health to participate in a clinical trial of a special heart procedure.  
Richardson was also commended for the growth, patient satisfaction and operational performance of Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) over the past year. TRMC is located in Tifton, Ga.
GACH president Monty Veazey presented the award to Richardson at the alliance's annual awards banquet at Callaway Gardens. Richardson was selected from the chief executive officers at Georgia's more than 157 community hospitals.   
At the award presentation, Veazey said that Richardson was instrumental in lobbying the state to allow 10 Georgia hospitals to participate in a clinical trial to demonstrate the efficacy of a special heart procedure. The trial, which will begin in January, is designed to prove that interventional cardiology programs without open heart surgery as a back-up measure can perform angioplasty procedures safely and effectively, which has been demonstrated in other states and in Europe.  Angioplasty is a minimally-invasive stenting procedure used to unclog blocked arteries leading to the heart.   TRMC, along with nine other hospitals in the state, were chosen to participate in the clinical trial by the Department of Community Health.
Veazey noted that TRMC is a top tier Georgia hospital in terms of patient satisfaction surveys, and Tift Regional Medical Center's day surgery and outpatient services are consistently ranked number one.  Coming off the heels of a $35 million building expansion in 2003, which included a new Surgery Center, Heart and Vascular Center and patient registration area, TRMC also finished multi-million renovations of its radiology areas in 2005, including a new women's imaging center.  The TRMC Heart and Vascular Center also opened a $2 million, all-digital angiography suite over the past year that enhances the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease.
Prince added that a hospital like TRMC is fortunate to have an executive of Richardson's caliber.  
Richardson is the son of the late Travis J. and Mildred Gowan Richardson. He is married to the former Deborah Lord. They have three children and one grandchild.
The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, established in 1982, is a statewide coalition of community not-for-profit hospitals. The alliance's mission is to foster goodwill among community health care professionals; to advocate the enactment of sound laws, rules and regulations affecting community hospitals; to conduct and disseminate research and to share ideas that improve the health care delivery system in Georgia. GACH holds an annual conference and awards banquet every year to recognize best practices at the state's community hospitals.