Tri-City Ledger -

Owens is named new hospital administrator

Griffin takes over as CEO of Escambia County (Ala.) Health Care Authority


April 25, 2019

Rick Owens has been named the new administrator of D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton and former Administrator Chris Griffin has been named as the chief executive officer of the Escambia County Health Care Authority.

Last week, the health care authority named Griffin as as the new CEO of the authority to handle the overall responsibilities of the authority's operating entities that include Atmore Community Hospital (including its clinics and home health agency), D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital and its clinics, the D.W. McMillan Emergency Medical Service and the D.W. McMillan Home Medical Equipment.

This week the authority named Owens as the new administrator for D.W. McMillan. Owens has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of West Florida and a master's degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

Owens has about 28 years of healthcare related experience with multiple health systems. Prior to joining DWMMH as the Business Office Director in 2004, Owens served as the Business Office Director for Atmore Community Hospital (ACH), as the Assistant Vice President of Finance for South Central Regional Medical Center, and as Business Office Director for Valley Springs Community Hospital. As the Business Office Director, Owens played a key role in re-establishing the hospital's business office after DWMMH's disaffiliation from Baptist Healthcare in 2005. Since joining D.W. McMillan, Owens has continued to assume additional responsibilities within the organization; Director of Medical Records in 2005, Director of Finance in 2007 and Chief Financial Officer in 2008. With Owens' transition into the role of DWMMH Administrator, there was a need for a Chief Financial Officer for the ECHCA Health System. Stephen Fischer has been named as the Interim Chief Financial Officer for the ECHCA Health System. Fischer will provide his services to our health system through 2019 to support the transition of ACH from the Infirmary Health System, the implementation of the Cerner Information Technology project at both hospitals, and the implementation of system wide financial systems and financial processes. Fischer has about years of experience in both healthcare finance and healthcare administration holding multiple positions at several hospitals and healthcare systems in Kentucky and Indiana. His previous positions have included Budget/Reimbursement Director, Finance Manager, Director of Finance, Associate VP of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer. Fischer holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Ball State University and a master's degree in Health Sciences from Webster University. Authority officials also stated that there are plans to post for a permanent CFO position for the ECHCA Health System in the late summer or fall of this year with a plan of providing an overlap period with Fischer.

Griffin has been a part of the ECHCA since 2003 serving as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Office of D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital and was named the hospital's administrator in July of 2008. Prior to joining D.W. McMillan, he served in several financial and leadership positions with Weyerhaeuser a local wood products manufacturer, Bellsouth Business Systems and the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse. Griffin received his undergraduate degree in 1983 from the University of Alabama School Of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant.

The election of officers for the ECHCA Board was held at the Authority's recent meeting on March 28, 2019. Mrs. Debbie Rowell was elected as Chairman, replacing Mrs. Ruth Harrell; Mrs. Sharon Davidson was elected as Vice-Chairman, replacing Mrs. Debbie Rowell and Mrs. Nancy Lowrey was elected as the Treasurer, replacing Don Ward. Both Mrs. Harrell and Ward will continue to serve as board members for the ECHCA.

Mrs. Rowell has been serving on the board since 2013, as the District 3 board appointment. Mrs. Rowell resides in Atmore where she is a real estate broker and the owner of Southern Real Estate in Atmore. Mrs. Sharon Davidson has been serving on the board since 2016, as the at large board appointment for the Brewton area. Mrs. Davidson resides in Brewton, she is a registered nurse and has previously served as a nursing instructor at Coastal Community College, Director at a local Hospice Agency and as a nurse at DW McMillan Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Lowrey has been serving on the board since 2009, as an at large board appointment for the Atmore area. Mrs. Lowrey resides in Atmore and is a founding partner of FS Advisors and serves as their President and CEO.


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