Forrest Health Board of Trustees approves succession plan for CEO Evan Dillard after a decade of successful leadership
Current CFO Andy Woodard to assume President and CEO role in 2019
Hattiesburg, Miss. (July 27, 2017) – After a decade of service and leadership, Forrest Health Board of Trustees is announcing that it has approved a succession plan for Evan Dillard for the post of president and chief executive officer of Forrest Health. Andy Woodard, Forrest Health’s current chief financial officer, will replace Dillard beginning in January 2019, and the two leaders will work together closely to ensure a smooth transition at that time.
Dillard, who has also served in healthcare leadership roles in Alabama and Florida, first began his tenure at Forrest Health in 2008, during a pivotal time for the healthcare industry. Under Dillard’s leadership, Forrest Health with the help of its physician partners has grown from a single county hospital to a regional health system with six hospital campuses, three specialty hospitals and numerous patient clinics to serve the needs of more patients. Today, Forrest Health is south Mississippi’s healthcare leader.
“We are most grateful for Evan’s service and outstanding contributions to Forrest Health,” said Rick Preusch, Forrest Health board chairman. “Under his leadership, Forrest Health has become the top performing health system in Mississippi with a defined path for continued growth and success. In this very thoughtful and deliberate succession plan, the Board of Trustees feel confident the leadership transition will be seamless for one of our community’s most prized organizations.”
Today, Forrest Health:
- Contributes more than $1.5 billion annually in financial impact alongside the Hattiesburg Clinic and Southern Bone and Joint.
- Is one of the region’s largest employers with more than 4,000 team members, including physicians, nurses and other caregivers.
- Is recognized by Care Chex, Women’s Choice and the American Heart Association as a best in class leader in medical care.
- Serves all patients regardless of ability to pay with more than $140 million in community service mission care in 2016.
Regularly invests in new services such as the Orthopedic Institute and the Asbury Hospice House to better meet the needs of its patients.
“My time at Forrest Health has been a true capstone to my career in healthcare,” said Dillard. “Since 2008, the Hattiesburg community and the Forrest Health family have been incredibly welcoming to me and my family. I am so proud of the team that we have built and the unmatched care we provide our patients every day. Forrest Health will be lucky to have Andy as its new leader, and I will work closely with him over the coming year in this transition.”
Woodard who will assume Dillard’s role has worked in various leadership positions at Forrest Health since 2001. Along with his role as CFO, Woodard has been instrumental in leading the Forrest Health team’s strategic plan for many years. In his time at Forrest Health, Woodard has helped the system maintain its strong financial footing in the south Mississippi region. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and a certified public accountant.
“The Board of Trustees is confident in the selection of Andy Woodard to be the next great leader of Forrest Health,” said Preusch. “He is a native son and the finest young healthcare executive in the region.”
In this deliberate succession program, Dillard will first step down from his role as president beginning Oct. 1, 2017. At that time, Woodard will take on the role as president with Dillard maintaining his position as CEO. Over the next 17 months, Dillard and Woodard will share senior leadership duties and will work together to ensure a smooth executive leadership transition.
“Forrest Health has been my home for many years,” said Woodard. “I am thankful for Evan and all that I have learned from his leadership over the years. I am proud of what we’ve built together and am excited for what the future has in store for Forrest Health and the communities we serve.”
Dillard will continue his duties as Board Chair of AAA Ambulance, Executive Committee of the Mississippi Hospital Association, Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association and Chairman of the Pinebelt Area Development Partnership.
About Forrest Health
The Forrest Health system is a partnership of healthcare organizations formed to increase access to quality health care in south Mississippi.
Since 1952, Forrest General Hospital has been a leader in medical excellence in south Mississippi. The hospital has grown from the original 90-bed facility into a 512-bed, Level II Regional Trauma Center. Forrest General is the flagship hospital for Forrest Health, a partnership of healthcare organizations formed to increase access to quality health care in south Mississippi. Other Forrest Health hospitals include: Highland Community Hospital, Picayune; Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Prentiss; Marion General Hospital, Columbia; Walthall General Hospital, Tylertown; and The Orthopedic Institute, Hattiesburg.
Forrest General Hospital ranks in the top 10 hospitals nationwide for Patient Safety in Overall Medical Care and has earned the CEO Cancer Gold Standard Accreditation, the 2015/2016 Mission: Lifeline Gold Quality Achievement Award for the treatment of Heart Attack Patients; the Stroke Gold Plus Award for quality stroke treatment by the AHA and ASA; the 2016 Women’s Choice Award for Hospital Obstetrics, Cancer Care, and Stroke Centers, and was also named one of the 2017 Most Wired Hospitals by the AHA Health Forum.