Atmore native offered CEO spot at north Alabama hospital

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Atmore native may soon hold the title of chief executive officer at Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield — a job that will include a quarter-million dollar salary.

Doug Arnold was offered the position at the north Alabama hospital by the facilities nine-member board last week. The offer, which is a two-year contract, would include a $250,000 salary as well as other financial benefits if goals set at the hospital are met during his tenure. The announcement was made by Board chairman Larry Collum.

Arnold has served as the CEO of Northwest Health System in Springdale, Ark., having resigned his position there in March 2010. Details released about Arnold say he currently operates a consultant business.

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Three candidates have been interviewed for the position at HK Hospital with one interviewee withdrawing from the process citing personal issues.

Collum said Arnold’s experience working in a “for profit” environment makes him a good contender for the position.

“Getting someone who has worked in that capacity would help Helen Keller Hospital and provide the required expertise,” Collum told reporters. “In the health care environment we’re in now, in order for us to be financially viable, we need that kind of experience. The Affordable Care Act is going to be difficult for us to be financially viable and we need someone who knows how to deal with that.”

Bill Anderson has stepped down as CEO at the facility leaving the door open for the opportunity offered to Arnold.

Collum said Arnold had toured the facility during a recent visit.

“He has been on campus, been through the hospital and met with department heads and senior management folks,” Collum told reporters. “They’ve interviewed him and the board has, too. We came to the conclusion that he is what we need in the area at this time in our hospital.”

HK officials expect a response to the offer in soon, Collum said. If Arnold accepts the position he would join the staff on the hospital campus beginning July 5.