McGill named interim administrator
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
As officials of Atmore Community Hospital and its governing entities begin operations independent of Infirmary Health’s oversight, they have again selected a popular ACH employee to take the local hospital’s reins, at least for the time being.
According to a posting on the Alabama Hospital Association website, Suzanne McGill, director of clinical nursing at the Atmore medical center, was recently selected as ACH’s interim administrator, the second time she has held such a position.
Escambia County Healthcare Authority CEO Chris Griffin wrote in a July 30 notice to employees that McGill had taken over the slot vacated by Doug Tanner, who was named administrator in 2016. Tanner, who will continue to reside in Atmore, left August 1, after the extended management agreement between ACH and Infirmary expired.
“Suzanne will continue in her role as the director of nursing while also serving as the interim administrator until we have our replacement administrator,” Griffin said this week in an emailed response to questions about the transition. “I will be working closely with Suzanne to provide her support during this interim period. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Suzanne for her willingness to step into this additional leadership role for Atmore Community Hospital.”
The local hospital is now independently managed, having severed all ties with Infirmary except for transfer of medical records into a new software system.
Griffin confirmed reports that next Monday, August 26, was the target date for completion of the break.
“Our transition for Atmore Community Hospital to the new Cerner Electronic Health Record and our transition from Infirmary Health, continues to go well,” he said. “This coming weekend is our transition … from the current Infirmary Health system (EPIC) to the Cerner system. We plan to bring the Cerner system live Sunday night at midnight and then begin using it as our new Electronic Health Record as of 7 a.m. Monday.”
He said local physicians, nurses and other staff members would still have limited access to the old system.
“We will continue to have access to the EPIC system for purposes of patient history or other things that may be needed from the system,” Griffin said. “Consistent with the system transition, most all other support services provided by Infirmary Health will also be transitioned to Atmore Community Hospital or the Escambia County Healthcare Authority, with a few exceptions.”
Griffin said no decision has yet been made as to the fate of the current hospital building, once the new, $32 million, state of the art facility is built.
“As of this time discussions are ongoing, and no decision has been made as to the ultimate plan for the old hospital facility, should a new hospital be built,” the healthcare authority CEO said. “We will continue to work with the mayor, city council, and other community leaders on the best use of the old facility, once the new facility is in place for our community.”
He praised the staffs of ACH and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton, which is also under ECHCA guidance, for working together to make smoother the transition of the Atmore medical center to an independent facility.
“I am very proud of our Atmore staff, as they have done an outstanding job in preparing and making ready for the transition to the new Cerner system, with support from our consulting project management team, program advisors and staff from D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital,” he said.