Greenwood Leflore Hospital has a new interim CEO.

The hospital board announced Wednesday that it has hired Gary Marchand, the former president and CEO of Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, to temporarily take over the responsibilities of chief executive while it continues to look for a permanent CEO.

In a prepared statement, the hospital said the vote to hire Marchand, which was taken during a Sept. 25 closed-door session, was unanimous.

“We know everyone is anxious to get a permanent administrator in place, but this position is too critical to the success of our hospital to rush into a decision,” said Harris Powers Jr., chairman of the hospital board. “We are still conducting a nationwide search to find the best long-term fit for area residents who rely on this institution for their quality medical care.”

Marchand, 67, spent more than 26 years, including the last 15 as CEO, at the publicly owned hospital on the Gulf Coast before announcing his retirement in July 2018. He oversaw a medical facility of 3,200 employees and $500 million in annual revenue. By comparison, the Greenwood hospital has 950 employees and annual revenue of $110 million.

Marchand, who started work Wednesday, will be staying in Greenwood during the week as he commutes from his home in Long Beach.

He is a certified public accountant who began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in New Orleans as an audit manager. He later became the vice president of finance for Touro Infirmary, a 500-bed academic medical center in New Orleans, where he became interested in the health-care sector. He was chief financial officer for Memorial Hospital for 12 years prior to becoming its chief executive.

In 2017, Marchand was named by the Mississippi Business Journal as CEO of the Year in the health-care category. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to the Mississippi Health Solutions Institute Board, and he has served on the Legislative and Medicaid Advisory committees of the Mississippi Hospital Association. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a Rotarian.

In August, the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board terminated Subho Basu, who had been serving as interim CEO for 10 months, and announced it would begin looking for a permanent replacement. Dawne Holmes, the hospital’s chief financial officer, has been holding down the CEO’s duties during the search.

Marchand will take over leading an operation that has shown some progress this year in reducing its losses but is still expected to post its fourth-straight year of red ink totaling several million dollars. Through the first 11 months of the fiscal year which ended Sept. 30, the hospital was showing an operating loss of $6.8 million, which is 13% less than the $7.8 million it lost for the same time period the year before.

Meanwhile, a task force appointed by the city of Greenwood and Leflore County — the hospital’s owners — is working with outside consultants on a strategic recommendation for the 208-bed facility. Among the options being considered are selling or leasing the hospital, affiliating with a larger medical institution or continuing to operate as an independent entity. That recommendation is expected to be presented before the end of the year.

“I come to Greenwood Leflore Hospital with my eyes wide open to the challenges, and I know it’s an uphill battle to keep a medical center in the Mississippi Delta financially healthy,” Marchand said in a prepared statement. “My goal is to put my experience to work so we can collectively keep the hospital viable while continuing to offer residents the best possible health-care experience in the region.”

The hospital’s statement included several expressions of confidence in Marchand by board members.

“Our number one goal is to continue to provide quality health care to our community and the surrounding communities of the Mississippi Delta region. I believe Gary Marchand is exactly the leader who will help us do this,” said Marcus Banks, the board’s vice chairman.

“I just felt that Gary’s 35 years of progressive business experience, coupled with his expression of just how important trust is between the board, the physicians, the staff and community, and his awareness of the potential to expand our market were what we were looking for,” added board member Emma Bell.

Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or tkalich@gwcommonwealth.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.