Walker Baptist Medical Center CEO to depart

Bob Phillips, CEO of Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Ala., will leave his executive role, and Mike Neuendorf, CEO of Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., will lead both hospitals, according to the Daily Mountain Eagle.

Walker and Princeton are both part of Birmingham-based Brookwood Baptist Health.

Mr. Phillips was selected in March 2017 to return to Walker as CEO. He  previously served as CEO of Shelby Baptist Medical Center, a Brookwood Baptist Health facility in Alabaster, Ala., among other positions with Brookwood Baptist Health.  

"Bob has established a strong portfolio of accomplishments throughout his tenure, including multiple recognitions as a Leapfrog A-rated hospital. He has cultivated a strong team who have helped to make Walker Baptist an exceptional community hospital," Tim Puthoff, CEO of Brookwood Baptist Medical Center and Brookwood Baptist Health, wrote to Walker's advisory board in an email obtained by the Eagle..

Mr. Neuendorf was tapped to serve as CEO of Princeton in September 2018. His previous healthcare experience includes serving as CEO of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems' Merit Health Wesley Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss., and as CEO of South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley, Ala.

Princeton COO Kidada Hawkins will assume responsibility for several departments at Walker, in addition to her COO role, and Walker Associate Administrator Suzanne Pugh will remain at the hospital in an "expanded operational role and will provide day-to-day administrative leadership," Mr. Puthoff said.

"Both Mike and Kidada joined the Brookwood Baptist Health family in 2018 and have made a tremendous impact in their short tenure and built strong credibility among staff and physicians," he added.

Brookwood Baptist Health attributed the new leadership structure to the health system's efforts to "capitalize on the alignment" that is already in place between Walker and Princeton. The changes take effect Feb. 1.


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