Michael McNair has taken over for Michael Davis, who held the position of CEO for only six months.
Davis left for personal reasons, McNair said.
“He and I sort of passed like two ships,” McNair said. “I know he left for personal reasons, but I didn’t ask and he didn’t say.”
McNair has 25 years in the health care industry, and spent a year in Hamlet in 1987. That was before the new Sandhills Medical Center was built. The Hamlet Hospital was in what is now the Richmond County Schools administration building.
He explained in the health industry, like many industries, to get ahead in a profession you need to move from place to place to ever larger institutions and more responsibility. That’s what he did, in postings from a start in Corpus Christi Texas, to hospitals throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
“I’ve been CEO at several hospitals since 1990, most recently in Louisburg, until the end of last year, when that hospital was sold to Norvant,” McNair said.
Gary Cunard, publisher of the Franklin Times, has fond memories of working with McNair when he was in that community in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“Mike was very well liked personally, and was very involved in the community,” Cunard said.
Louisburg is about 27 miles from downtown Raleigh and 18 miles from Henderson to the northwest. The Franklin Times is the only newspaper published in Franklin County.
McNair joked that in some towns where he’s lived, there wasn’t any newspaper at all, or if there was it only came out once week. He also said at the age of 57, hoping from place to place has gotten a little old and he and his wife are looking for a place to stay for good. Hamlet’s a good location because they have a grandchild just a short drive away in Cary. He and his wife like to fish, and last week he was looking for a good place to do that in Richmond County.
Sandhills is owned by Florida-based Health Management Associates. The company reported in April that it had net revenue of $1.2 billion for the first quarter that ended March 31. It operates 55 hospitals, with approximately 8,400 licensed beds, in non-urban communities located throughout the United States.
Davis came to SHRMC from the Mary Black Health System in Spartanburg, S. C., where he served as assistant chief executive officer and chief operating officer. During his tenure there, he was involved in the development and design of a new $8 million emergency department and the development of a $2 million breast health center.
Only a few weeks before leaving, Davis presided over the groundbreaking for a new MRI unit at Sandhills.
That project is still on track to be completed by Oct. 1, McNair said. It will be the only fixed-based MRI in Richmond County.
Dr. Fred McQueen, chief of staff at Sandhills, originally thought that McNair was coming in an interim position to help Sandhills get things squared away, and open the new MRI center, but learned that he wanted to stay.”
“I am looking forward to working with him,” McQueen said. “ He seems to be about the institution and being sure things are ran correctly and that is all I can ask. He is really experienced and we need his maturity and expertise.”
McNair admits he’s still getting a handle on the situation in Hamlet, but set out a vision to make sure Sandhills remains an important part of the community.
“It’s hard for me to tell just yet, but what I can tell you is that we, the leadership team at Sandhills, are constantly evaluating the ever changing needs of our immediate and surrounding counties and adapting operations where necessary to ensure that we are ready to assist patients with high quality care. That includes strengthening physician relationships, building community confidence, expanding primary care support, strengthening medical and surgical services, positing Sandhills as a consumer’s choice for efficient, convenient and timely emergency room care, enhancing relationships with EMS providers, increased involvement in community activities by Sandhills leadership and making Sandhills easier to use for patients and physicians.”
Peter Williams can be reached at 910-997-3111 ext. 18 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.