Perkins’ departure from ACH ‘bittersweet’

Published 4:48 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

Bittersweet is just one term Bill Perkins used when he spoke of his upcoming departure as administrator at Atmore Community Hospital.

Perkins will be leaving his current post in Atmore to take the position of vice president of operations at Baptist Hospital for the Pensacola, Fla.,-based healthcare system.

“Bittersweet, mixed emotions — that describes my feelings perfectly,” Perkins said. “I’m really excited about the opportunity and to know they think highly enough of my abilities to place me in this position. But, I’m also sad about leaving people I’ve come to consider family.”

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Perkins, who came to Atmore Community Hospital three years ago to lead the staff, said he would be making a move back to Pensacola.

“I’ve worked with Baptist since 1990,” Perkins said. “I spent 18 years in Pensacola so it’s kind of a coming home of sorts for me. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me and I’m thankful for that.”

Perkins will be returning to Atmore from time to time in his new role that will put him on the road visiting secondary service facilities of Baptist, which includes ACH.

“One of my duties will be with the secondary service area out of Pensacola,” Perkins said. “That area deals with smaller hospitals in the area that transfer patients to Pensacola for services there. That part of the job will bring me back to Atmore which will be my favorite stop on the trip.”

Perkins said his love of Atmore and its people came easily when he moved to the area three years ago.

“This town and Atmore Community Hospital has a family atmosphere and it was easy to fall in love with everyone,” Perkins said. “Being in a smaller town gives you a chance to make deeper, lasting relationships. I have made so many wonderful friends here. I have friendships that will last a lifetime from my time here.”

Perkins said one of the hardest parts about the promotion with Baptist will be leaving his co-workers who have become an important part of his life.

“The wonderful people I have met here will be one of the things I miss the most,” Perkins said. “The leaders of the Escambia County Health Authority and the leaders of Atmore Community hospital as well as all the staff and volunteers here have been like family. This is such a warm place and it has been easy to grow attached to the community and the family here at ACH. That’s what we are is family, and anytime you have to leave a family member there is a loss. That part of this new opportunity is the hardest part of this transition.”

Perkins said Baptist officials have not set a timetable for his departure or for naming his successor at ACH.