John Ferguson Jr., leader of Georgia hospital for 4 decades, dies

John Ferguson Jr., former president and CEO of Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System, died Jan. 23 at age 82, The Gainesville Times reported. 

Mr. Ferguson guided the organization for four decades. 

In 1964, he joined the organization as a hospital engineer, and within four years, at the age of 28, became the youngest hospital administrator and CEO in Georgia, NGHS President and CEO Carol Burrell said in a statement shared with Becker's. He led Northeast Georgia Health System as CEO for 36 years until his retirement in 2004.  

During his tenure, Mr. Ferguson played a key role in the organization's transition from a single acute care hospital to a health system with a dedicated 10-bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed cardiac care unit and a 20-bed mental health unit, said Ms. Burrell.

"That growth was possible, in large part, due to John's efforts to keep the institution nimble and ready for the future," she said. "In 1986, John led the hospital through corporate reorganization in which the Hospital Authority of Gainesville and Hall County leased the medical center to a holding company, Northeast Georgia Health System. This restructuring enabled the organization to expand healthcare services across county lines and improve access to care for citizens throughout Northeast Georgia."

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