The health care picture in Franklin County will take on a new look next week, with two new faces leading the two biggest providers of health care here, Weems Memorial Hospital and the county health department.
An interim CEO, HD Cannington, on Monday will succeed Mike Cooper, whom the county commission earlier last month insisted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital be replaced.
Sarah Hinds, who holds a masters of public health. has been promoted to succeed Marsha Lindeman, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, recently named to become the new statewide public health nursing director for the Florida Department of Health.
The county commissioners expressed solid support for both hires, with Cannington selected by TMH and Hinds by the state.
“We have high expectations for you,“ said Chair Smokey Parrish, in welcoming Cannington aboard.
According to his resume, Cannington, from Madison, Georgia, holds a masters of business administration from Valdosta State University, and has served mainly in interim posts for the last three years, including stints at Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon, Jellico Community Hospital in Jellico, Tennessee, and Pineville Community Hospital, in Pineville, Kentucky.
“He knows a lot of people I know,” said Commissioner Cheryl Sanders. “I refer to him as Mr. Fix-It. He comes well qualified, well-recommended.”
Cannington thanked the commissioners for their unanimous vote of support, and said he’ll start working next week. County Coordinator Michael Morón said TMH is drawing up a contract for Cannington, which will be contingent on review by County Attorney Michael Shuler.
“Welcome aboard,” said Commissioner Noah Lockley.
One of Cannington’s first orders of business will be addressing ambulance oversight as well as social media policy for hospital employees, after county commissioners said they were concerned about some of the postings appearing on Facebook.
“He’s the man at the top,” said Parrish. “If it ain’t running right it’s because of employees under his direction. The buck stops at the top
“I think the new CEO will be a little more vigilant taking care of these issues,” he said.
The hiring of Hinds will require a vote of the Gulf County commissioners, and approval is likely.
“The department has full confidence in Ms. Hinds as she possesses an excellent and diverse background in all aspects of public health and has demonstrated her ability as a skilled leader,” wrote Dr. Celeste Phillip, the state’s surgeon general and head of the Florida Department of Health. “I believe Ms. Hinds will be an asset to the Florida Department of Health and Franklin County as its new health department administrator.”