SMITHVILLE – Saint Thomas Health has named a new chief executive officer for its three Upper Cumberland regional hospitals
Andy Wachtel, FACHE, has been tapped to lead Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville, Highlands Hospital in Sparta and Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. He replaces Bill Little and Sue Conley, respectively, who exited after leadership changes were announced earlier this year.
Wachtel begins his new role Oct. 10. He most recently served as CEO of Alliance Health located in Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he was responsible for 140-bed Alliance Health Ponca City hospital and 53-bed Alliance Health Blackwell hospital. These two hospitals blended their management teams in May 2014. Prior, he was chief operating officer at Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City.
“We took great care in selecting the new leader for these hospitals,” said Karen Springer, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health. “We are concerned with maintaining and expanding local access to health care for the people of Cannon, DeKalb and White counties and continuing to improve and enhance the quality of that care.”
Wachtel received his master’s degree in public health from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City and graduated from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, with a degree in business administration. He and his wife, Pam, have been married for 33 years and have two daughters, Jennifer and Mandy.
“We’re pleased to have someone of Andy’s experience and skill joining the leadership team of Saint Thomas Health and Ascension,” said Gordon Ferguson, president of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals/president and CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford. “He is uniquely qualified to lead these three hospitals and is looking forward to becoming active in the communities they serve.”
Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. Officials, back in June, said they were consolidating operations at Saint Thomas DeKalb, Highlands and Stones River, meaning the three will be overseen by one chief executive. River Park Hospital in McMinnville, also Saint Thomas owned, is not affected; R. Dale Humphrey started as CEO there May 16.