by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | September 14, 2018
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Last year, we spotlighted Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
This year, we visited with Mark Kimball, CEO of Erlanger Murphy Medical to learn about the first facility Erlanger has acquired outside of its home state of Tennessee. The acquisition was official on April 1 and Kimball started his position on June 4. He spoke with HCB News to provide details on his background and some of the rationale for the acquisition, as well as the goals set out for the medical center.
HCB News: What inspired you to follow a career in healthcare?
My first job after I graduated college was as vice president of the Albany Darty Economic Development Committee in Georgia. I had a wonderful mentor, and our job was to recruit business and industry to our area. It gave me a lot of personal satisfaction that I was part of a process that helped people create jobs and wealth in our community and region. I enjoyed the work, but knew it was not my calling. My boss was recruited away and asked if I wanted to join him in Atlanta, but I turned him down. Shortly after, Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, Georgia approached me about a new position. They called and told me they wanted someone with the skill set to connect healthcare with business and industry and they thought I could be that person. I went and interviewed and that’s how I got involved in healthcare. It was a good match for me because I was still part of a process that helped people in our community and our region with their needs. I was part of a process that brought a lot of service and value. At the end of the day, it gave me a lot of personal satisfaction. I had a lot of great mentors there as well as at other places during my career that helped to shape me and mentor me to where I am today.
HCB News: What attracted you to Erlanger?
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There were a number of reasons. First, the geographic location – I’m a native of South Georgia. My wife is from Georgia as well, we have family here. I’m an avid outdoorsman, I went to school at University of Georgia and spent a good bit of time in North Georgia, camping and really enjoying the outdoors. Also, with the location of the hospital, the communities it serves were a big interest to me. Another reason was the organization itself. When I interviewed and met with the leadership, they had a compelling vision and strong leadership. The system continues to grow. That was another plus. When I dug in a little more, I realized there was a chance that we could capitalize on great potential at Murphy’s. When I was looking at all the services here, I saw it wasn’t your typical rural hospital. There were a lot of service lines, but they were being underutilized. I felt we could come in and be a part of a process that could help grow our services, not only for Murphy, but also the region we serve. The final piece was about getting to work with great people – talented and dedicated, with great skill sets.