By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – After several months under the guidance of interim CEO Robert Torres, Timberlands Healthcare recently announced a new permanent CEO would lead the hospital provider into its future in Houston County.

During a meeting of the Houston County Hospital District Board of Directors held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, new CEO Jeff Perry was introduced to the board and to members of the public.

“I’m meeting as many people as I can both in and out of the hospital. I will definitely be calling on you to help me identify the key areas and key people I need to meet with. My first 60 days will be basically to just listen and learn,” Perry informed the HCHD board.

According to a press release from Timberlands Healthcare Communications Specialist Julie Lehr, “Perry comes to Crockett from Marquette, Minn. where he has been serving as Chief Operations Officer for Duke LifePoint Healthcare. In addition, Perry has served as COO for Legacy Community Health Services in Houston and COO/CNO for Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, Okla. Perry is an adorned veteran who has served in many nursing leadership capacities throughout his career.”

Torres will be returning to King’s Daughters Clinic in Temple, Texas.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time in Crockett,” Torres stated in the press release. “The people of the community and associates of the hospital are passionate and kind individuals. I always felt welcomed and appreciated here.”

The upcoming election was also addressed during the Tuesday meeting.

HCHD Administrator Dick Murchison informed those in attendance five HCHD board positions were up for election on the May Ballot and only four packets had been received by the Friday, Feb. 17 deadline.

“There will be a vacancy on the board, on the date of May 16 or whatever that magic date is,” Murchison said.

Incumbent Larry Robbins decided not to run and his seat will remain vacant until someone is appointed.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com