b'HEALTHCAREQUESTIONS& ANSWERSSGAMAG: Having always lived and worked inAlabama Medical Center, and like the opportunity to move Alabama, how are you adjusting to Valdosta?to Troy, Alabama as CEO of Troy Regional Medical Center, I identified with the challenge it presented but more so with the Weve had a great start. idea I might be able to help the hospital and the community When I arrived, I really didnt know what to expect. Everyonerealize the health delivery service they desired. I had met along the way seemed to be nice, kind, and inviting, but we really didnt know what our experience would be like.While in Troy, we enjoyed the results of a successful turnaround, But having been here for a while, I can honestly say we haveand now Troy Regional Medical Center is on a path of growth identified with what makes the area a great place to live,and prosperity. Our team accomplished quite a bit in Troy, remarkably kind people, both in the community and at SGMC.something I am very proud of. In some way, I felt like my And because of that, weve had a great start in Valdosta. Mypurpose for being there was served. And when contemplating wife, Sue, and I have enjoyed everyone weve met and foundthe South Georgia Medical Center opportunity, some of the the people of Valdosta, Lowndes County, and the region to besame thoughts prevailed. Perhaps, I could help the leadership PAT GALLAGHERextremely friendly and welcoming to the community. We haveand community realize what they wanted out of their health been accepted and have truly fallen in love with Valdosta. Idelivery system in South Georgia. And then, one conversation believe we have found a home in Valdosta. led to another, and my interest grew, and the boards interest grew. And now, Im here as a member of a great community and The people at SGMC have been really, really great, and haveremarkably talented SGMC team.Q&A With Ronnie Dean been just as inviting. As you know, the system employs over 2,500 across four campuses, and we enjoy having 375 plusSGAMAG: How do you think your professional physicians on our staff. I can say we have met some of the mostexperience has prepared you for the opportunities CEO at South Georgia Medical Center remarkable people at SGMC. And what I identify with most is and challenges at SGMC?that each one of these individuals has chosen to work and serve A fter only a few months on the job, RonaldRonnie Dean, CEO at South Georgia Medical Centerat SGMC in their respective roles. And each one has personalWhen I started my career in healthcare, the furthest thing (SGMC), says he feels right at home in Valdosta. Since starting in October, Dean has quicklyand professional dreams, goals, and aspirations for themselvesfrom my mind was becoming a hospital CEO. As a Respiratory immersed himself as part of the SGMC team and Valdosta community.and their families, and SGMC serves to help them satisfy theseTherapist, I identified with the idea I could help people feel goals. And now, Im a part of that.a role I take seriously. Whenbetter. And somewhere along the way, others identified in me After an extensive nationwide search, the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County selectedI couple the opportunity to work alongside this team withthat I could help in other ways by taking on management and Dean for his executive knowledge, passion for leadership, and years of experience.the purpose SGMC serves in the lives of this community andleadership responsibilities. And through this, my professional the region, I simply feel honored to be here and to have beenexperiences, roles, and responsibilities grew. And by way of With a diverse background in hospital management, Deans wide range of professional responsibilitiesselected to join South Georgia Medical Center. expanded roles, I assembled a unique set of skills that are have spanned more than 36 years and include hospital operations, clinical service line development,transferable and have been tested over time. My love for serving SGAMAG: With a productive and successful career atpeople and being a valued purpose in anothers life married external business development, physician practice acquisitions, long-range planning, regional networktwo healthcare facilities in Alabama, what drew younicely with the skills I learned from others and, of course, development, regulatory affairs, and joint ventures. to the position at SGMC?through successes and failures along the way. In some way, I think all of us are being ideally prepared to serve at some other The Dothan, Alabama native, who began his career as a respiratory therapist, spent 33 years working forSGMC and the South Georgia Health System of hospitalslevel, whether we know it or not. I think the same has been true Southeast Alabama Medical Center in various positions, most recently as vice president of operations.services and programs are part of a highly complex healthfor me. This belief causes me to look forward to assisting with In 2016, Dean transitioned to CEO at Troy Regional Medical Center, where he implemented a successfuldelivery system. Having spent over 33 years in a similarlythe challenges and opportunities SGMC faces and the challenge turnaround strategy to improve the hospitals overall performance.complex system, I was initially attracted to the idea that Iof leading the evolution of our South Georgias health delivery might serve in another regional medical center with tertiarysystem.capabilities. I had experienced a great career at Southeast 14 SG MAGAZINE | WINTER 2020 BUSINESS + CULTURE 15'