Billy Walker Named Memorial Hospital and Manor CEO
Charles Tyson, Chairman of the Hospital Authority of the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County, announced Tuesday that William J. (Billy) Walker, Jr., CPA, has been named Chief Executive Office of Memorial Hospital and Manor. Walker, Chief Financial Officer of Memorial, has served as Interim Co-CEO, along with Cynthia Vickers, RN, Assistant Administrator of Nursing Services, since November after former CEO Jim Peak's contract was not renewed by the Hospital Authority. Walker began his tenure at Memorial Hospital and Manor as Assistant Chief Financial Office in 2000, and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2004. Prior to joining Memorial Hospital and Manor's administrative staff, Walker served as Controller of Harrell Equipment Company, Inc. in Vada. He also worked for four years as Senior Accountant with a large CPA firm in Macon and Atlanta. Walker graduated from Mercer University, Stetson School of Business in Macon in 1989 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. He earned the Certified Public Accountant designation in 1991.
Walker is married to the former Rhonda Godwin of Bainbridge and they have three children. He is a member of the First Baptist Church and its Finance Committee, Past Chairman of the Bainbridge/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, Assistant Scoutmaster of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 502, a member of the Bainbridge Rotary Club, and past member of the YMCA Board of Directors. Walker graduated from the Georgia Hospital Association Leadership Program in 2005 and is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Tyson said the Hospital Authority received 21 applications, of which three candidates withdrew their applications. The search was narrowed down to eight candidates and then to seven after one person declined to submit appropriate background information. The Hospital Authority selected three candidates, including Walker, to interview.
Memorial Hospital and Manor Is Now Tobacco-free
On April 4, 2011, Memorial Hospital and Manor joined hospitals across Georgia in an effort to become tobacco-free in supporting the health and wellness of all of employees, patients and visitors. Now no tobacco use of any kind is permitted anywhere on the hospital campus or its facilities - inside or outside. This initiative includes the elimination of all designated smoking areas outside Memorial Hospital and Manor where employees, patients, and visitors had previously been permitted to use tobacco products.
Over 10,000 Georgians die every year from tobacco use. And one out of every six people dies from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking costs Georgians $1.8 billion in direct health care costs each year. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. It is estimated that 184,000 children under the age of 18 in Georgia will ultimately die a premature death from the effects of tobacco. Death from tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the world. Every year, nearly half a million people die from the effects of tobacco.
Memorial Hospital and Manor is asking for the community's support in our tobacco-free initiative as we move forward to make our community healthier for all our citizens. Many smoking cessation products are available to help people who want to quit smoking. Patients should talk to their physicians about their options.
Memorial Hospital and Manor Receives GHA Leadership Award
At its annual summer meeting, the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) presented its prestigious statewide Community Leadership Award to Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge for its effort to improve the health and well-being of its community with “Team Lean,” a 12-week community-wide weight loss competition. The goal of the program was to motivate people to make permanent healthy lifestyle changes by eating better and increasing exercise. The hospital was inspired to help the community lose weight because one of the national health objectives for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15 percent. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, currently, nearly two out of three Americans are overweight or obese.
In 2005 and 2006, Memorial Hospital and Manor sponsored two “Team Lean” competitions for its employees, resulting in a weight loss of over 3,200 pounds. Following this success, the hospital partnered with the Bainbridge/Decatur County YMCA to co-sponsor the program for the entire community beginning in 2007. Monetary prizes were funded by $5 weekly dues paid by each contestant. Additionally, participants paid $1 for every pound gained each week. Memorial Hospital and Manor offered free cholesterol and glucose screenings and the YMCA offered free body fat analyses, as well as waiving the initial fee for membership. The hospital and YMCA conducted free diet and exercise seminars for anyone interested in losing weight.
The competitions successfully resulted in 906 contestants losing a total of 16,154 pounds and 763 contestants losing 13,115 pounds in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Plans are underway for a 2009 “Team Lean” competition to begin in January. Hospitals in Nebraska, Iowa and North Dakota as well as other cities in Georgia, including Thomasville, Winder and Augusta, have contacted Memorial Hospital and Manor for information to conduct their own “Team Lean” competitions.
“With its innovative Team Lean program, Memorial Hospital and Manor has made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of residents in its rural community," said GHA President Joseph Parker. “We applaud the entire Memorial hospital staff for providing the resources, motivation and moral support that have led hundreds of participants to make healthy lifestyle changes.”
Cathy Willis, Assistant Administrator and Team Lean Coordinator, received the award for the hospital from GHA Chairman Chuck Orrick at the annual GHA summer meeting at Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Swine Flu Update
Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in several states as well as Mexico and Canada. Several additional cases have been confirmed in other countries around the world. Please see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Swine Influenza web page at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ for the most current updates on case numbers and affected states/countries. For additional topics about influenza, please visit www.flu.gov.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the extent of the outbreak, how easily it is transmitted between people, and whether this virus strain has the ability to cause a worldwide influenza pandemic.
CDC is working closely with state and local officials and international partners to provide assistance with epidemiologic investigation, diagnostic testing and the provision of guidance documents on treatment and infection control.
Residents of Georgia
We anticipate that Georgia may detect cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) disease, given the unfolding circumstances of this epidemic.
Georgia is conducting enhanced surveillance to identify swine influenza illness in Georgia. The goals of enhanced surveillance are to determine the severity of swine influenza disease and the epidemiologic pattern of human illness with this virus strain.
As with any infectious disease, the Georgia Division of Public Health is recommending the following precautionary measures:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Persons who may have been exposed to swine influenza and develop an illness with fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their health care provider. Their health care provider will determine whether influenza testing is needed. For the latest information on Swine Flu, please visit the Georgia Division of Public Health website at http://health.state.ga.us/swineflu/.