Longest-tenured hospital administrator in US to retire after 56 years

James Elrod, president and CEO of Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, La., will retire Sept. 30. Jerry Fielder II has been named Mr. Elrod's successor. 

James Elrod began his career at Willis-Knighton at the age of 27. He is the longest-tenured hospital administrator in the U.S., having served 56 years, according to a Sept. 11 statement.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the medical staff, the management team and Willis-Knighton's over 7,000 employees, we want to thank Mr. Elrod for his unparalleled contributions and indelible impact during his more than five decades at the helm of this organization," said Board Chair Frank Hughes, MD. "Under his leadership, Mr. Elrod has grown Willis-Knighton from a small community hospital to one of the largest healthcare systems in Louisiana."

Mr. Fielder has held multiple leadership roles since joining the health system in 1990. He most recently served as COO.

"Working with [Jerry Fielder] during the past 30 years of his career here, I have not just seen him grow and demonstrate his capabilities, I have seen his heart," Mr. Elrod said. "His dedication to the health system, the medical staff, the employees and our community is unquestionable and, I believe, unshakable."

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