baptist health news 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (3/29/13) – Baptist Health Madisonville President and CEO E. Berton Whitaker announced he will retire from the organization on or about July 1, 2013.
Whitaker joined the health system in June 2006, and led the transition from Trover Health System to Baptist Health, effective November 2012. Prior to coming to Madisonville , Whitaker served as president and CEO of Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center and senior vice president of Wellmont Health System in Kingsport , Tennessee. He has worked in healthcare management for 35 years.

“Mr. Whitaker’s vision and leadership have guided us to a position of great strength,” said Board Chairman Allen Rudd. “Despite the many obstacles in today’s healthcare climate, we are stronger than ever. Since joining with Baptist Health, we’ve already seen many benefits brought to our community, including the completion of a $1.8 million new physician office space, several new providers recruited to the area, and a large investment made in medical technology and equipment both in the clinic and hospital setting.”

Whitaker oversaw the organization’s work to strategically align with another organization as healthcare reform, changes in medicine, and the health needs of Kentucky have changed dramatically in recent years. Since joining the system in 2006, Whitaker has led the organization to achievements such as:
• Joining with the largest not-for-profit health system in the state, giving us access to capital and the ability to care for our community for years to come
• Recruiting a number of excellent providers to our medical staff
• Purchasing Muhlenberg Medical Center in Powderly and Central City
• Adding new services including two Walmart Clinics
• Completing and moving into a new state-of-the-art physician office space
• Positioning the organization’s continuing to financial strength and stability

“Bert is considered by his peers across the state as a visionary in the healthcare arena,” said Baptist Health CEO Stephen Hanson. “He understands rural medicine and is committed to the delivery of quality healthcare in Western Kentucky . The impact he has made while in Madisonville will influence that community for years. The Baptist Health family wishes him the best of luck in his retirement.”

The Baptist Health Board of Directors will oversee a search committee to evaluate qualified candidates for Whitaker’s successor.
“I have loved working here and being a part of the Hopkins County community,” said Whitaker. “During my time here, I have been a part of the most talented, dedicated, and caring team I have worked with throughout my career. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

Whitaker earned a Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives. He is a member of the Kentucky Hospital Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee and currently serves as Chairman of the KHA Legislative Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation, and has served on the board of the Hopkins County YMCA . He served as chair of the 2007 Major Fundraising Campaign for the American Red Cross Mid-West Kentucky Chapter. He also is a Paul Harris Fellow and has been a Rotarian since 1983.

Whitaker’s professional affiliations include the American Hospital Association, Tennessee Hospital Association, Kentucky Hospital Association, Tennessee Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and Kentucky Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Whitaker and his wife, Harriett, have been married for 40 years and have two children, Amanda and Alex.
SurfKY News
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