Lynchburg, VA - This is the first week on the job for Centra's new CEO, E.W. Tibbs, Junior. We hear from him for the first time in his new position. Of course, former CEO Michael Bryant announced his resignation last week.
When we asked Tibbs what legacy Bryant left behind at Centra, Tibbs said accountability. But, now that Tibbs is at the helm, he shares Centra's strengths and challenges moving forward.
Wednesday, we walk the hospital hallways with the new leader of Centra. There are plenty who are eager to meet their new CEO.
"Hi, Katie. It's a pleasure," said Tibbs to one of his staff.
E.W. Tibbs Jr. speaks very highly of the staff he now leads, calling Centra university-level medicine in a community environment.
"This is the most hardworking, dedicated group of physicians, employees, volunteers that I've ever had the good fortune of working with," said Tibbs.
Tibbs hasn't always been in management. Born and raised in Bedford County, his career started volunteering in a rescue squad. Then, he entered the medical field as a staff nurse. Most recently, he was Centra's senior V.P. for operations and CEO of Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville.
For years, he worked on the floor directly with patients. He understands their concerns, and he's eager to dive in.
"And now to be the CEO of what I consider to be one of the most fantastic healthcare companies, not just in this country but in the world. It's a bit of a dream," said Tibbs.
But, with that dream comes some challenges. Tibbs says in the next months and years, the healthcare industry will see more change than ever before, including the payment structure and a higher level of transparency.
Tibbs says Centra is low-cost compared to other hospitals in the state. Still, Centra must strive to keep healthcare costs down.
"For Centra and the rest of the industry, it's a time we've got to be better than ever," said Tibbs.
We asked Tibbs his number one priority running the hospital, and he said safety. He says he strives everyday to make sure patients, employees, and physicians are in a safe environment.