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Hospital in the Mississippi Delta hires new chief executive

October 11, 2020 GMT

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — A rural Mississippi hospital that has faced financial losses the past several years is hiring a new CEO who has been the top executive at hospitals in Virginia, Georgia and Alabama.

Jason A. Studley begins his new job at Greenwood Leflore Hospital on Oct. 19, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

Studley, 43, was selected after a nationwide search that included more than 200 applicants, said Harris Powers Jr., chairman of the hospital board.

Studley will become the fourth CEO of the Greenwood hospital in less than three years. He succeeds Gary Marchand, who has been as interim CEO since October 2019. Marchand is a longtime Gulf Coast hospital administrator who came out of retirement to take the position but never expressed interest in the permanent job.

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The Greenwood hospital is in one of the poorest parts of the U.S. with large numbers of uninsured people. The hospital lost more than $44 million from 2016 through 2019, although about $14.5 million of the loss was because of a change in accounting standards.

Through the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ended Wednesday, the hospital was showing a net loss of $755,000. It has received about $15.5 million in coronavirus relief grants, mostly from the federal government.

Studley is a Missouri native with 20 years of experience in health care administration. His most recent job was as president of Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital in South Boston, Virginia. He resigned in December after less than two years in the position.

Studley previously spent more than eight years with Community Health Systems, one of the largest hospital companies in the U.S. He was president and CEO of Trinity Hospital, a 231-bed facility in Augusta, Georgia, for five years and CEO at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, a 72-bed facility in Greenville, Alabama, for two years before that.