Sutton named CEO for SAMC system

The Houston County Health Care Authority announced today that suttonshirt052809310x192 Richard (Rick) O. Sutton, FACHE, has been appointed as system chief executive officer (CEO) for Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) and the president for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM). In this role, Sutton has executive oversight for Southeast Alabama Medical Center, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, Southeast Alabama Medical Center Foundation and Medical Center Barbour. He will begin his tenure at SAMC on May 16, 2016.

“We are pleased to welcome Rick Sutton as the new leader for Southeast Alabama Medical Center,” says Chester Sowell, Houston County Health Care Authority Chairman. “Sutton has a track record of leading high performing health systems with a focus on operational and clinical excellence. In his 30 year career he has led hospitals that are consistently ranked in the top 100 nationally for quality, safety, and patient satisfaction. We believe he brings a level of expertise that will benefit our patients, staff and students.”

Sutton currently serves as chief executive officer for three Banner Health Northern Colorado Hospitals, which includes North Colorado Medical Center, McKee Medical Center and Banner Fort Collins Medical Center.

“I am pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to join the strong leadership team at Southeast Alabama Medical Center and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Sutton said. “I look forward to working with the entire team to build upon the excellent quality and service available to those we serve.”

Sutton has extensive experience in healthcare which includes a background in hospital operations in the military and civilian settings. Notably, he joined Banner Health in 2001 as chief executive officer of Ogallala Medical Center in Ogallala, Nebraska. Since that time he has progressed within the Banner organization. He served as chief operating officer at Banner Mesa Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. He was later appointed as CEO at McKee Medical Center (MMC), and then named CEO at North Colorado Medical Center (NCMC) in Greeley, Colorado.

Under his leadership, both MMC and NCMC have reached unprecedented heights in operations and clinical performance. NCMC was recognized as one of Healthgrades “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” in 2015 and 2016 following five consecutive years of designation as one of Healthgrades’ America’s 100 Best Hospitals. McKee won the Healthgrades’ America’s 100 Best Hospitals award in 2014 and has received designation as an Outstanding Patient Experience awardee for seven consecutive years. In addition, either NCMC or McKee have received the Banner Health system “Best of the Best Hospitals” award seven of the last eight years.

Sutton earned his undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Mississippi, in 1986. He then served in the United States Army from 1986 to 1999 where he held various roles in the military healthcare delivery system. In 1995, Sutton completed a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He also served Trinity Health in South Bend, Indiana from 1999-2001. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Sutton and his wife Bonnie have two grown sons.

The Houston County Health Care Authority initiated a national search for the next leader for Southeast Alabama Medical Center, after Ronald S. Owen, the current CEO of SAMC announced his plans to retire. Owen had been at the helm of SAMC for over 18 years. His last day with the organization will be April 29, 2016.

SAMC adds advanced radiation treatment delivery system

Southeast Alabama Medical Center is beaming with pride when it comes to the region’s most advanced cancer radiation treatment system. 1913TrueBeamAccelerator310x192

SAMC’s Southeast Cancer Center is committed to providing you the latest in radiation technology with the addition of the TrueBeam Radiotherapy System. We’re putting cancer on notice that we’re prepared to do everything in our power to defeat it and help you become a survivor.

The TrueBeam, from Varian Medical Systems, is the most powerful radiotherapy system offered within a 100 miles north of Dothan and more than 250 miles to the east or west. The TrueBeam system offers pinpoint accuracy, speed and enhanced patient comfort. The SAMC Foundation provided funding for renovations to the treatment room that includes a simulated sky light.

This new system uniquely offers crystal clear imaging while compensating for the slightest of patient movement during treatment. The TrueBeam, which reduces the treatment time, can be used on lung, breast, prostate and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy.

 “TrueBeam is a real game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and precision,” said Steven H. Stokes, MD, board certified radiation oncologist and medical director of Southeast Cancer Center. “With a broad spectrum of new capabilities, TrueBeam breaks the mold in just about every dimension, making it possible for us to offer faster, more targeted treatments to tumors even as they move and change over time.”

Shorter treatment time allows for greater patient comfort and improved precision leaving less time for the tumor to shift positions during the process.

“Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two minutes once the patient is in position,” said Dr. Stokes. “Patients will spend a whole lot less time lying still, immobilized on a hard surface.”

The precision of the TrueBeam system is measured in increments of width of a human hair. Critical data points are measured continually during treatment, ensuring that the system stays on target during treatment.

 “With TrueBeam, we can select the optimal treatment for every type of cancer,” said Dr. Stokes “This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to many more patients. It represents a quantum leap in our ability to help people fight cancer.” 

Dr. Stokes teams up with Jarrod Adkison, MD, board certified radiation oncologist, as the region’s most experienced radiation oncologist practice. Southeast Cancer Center treats approximately 1,200 cancer cases annually. The center’s specially trained nurses, physicists, dosimetrist, and radiation therapists are dedicated to excellence in patient care and work with a multidisciplinary team consisting of case workers, dietitians, rehab therapists and others to provide the very best for patients and their families. Our patient navigation team helps support cancer patients by guiding them through diagnosis and treatment, helping them overcome any barriers to their prescribed treatment plan.

Owen receives ASNA award

The Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) recently presented SAMC CEO Ron Owen with the D. O. McClusky Award, which goes annually to a healthcare administrator who has demonstrated outstanding support of nurses during the past year. 3500OwenAward310x192Presenting on behalf of ASNA are Diane Buntyn, RN, vice president, Patient Care Services; Tammy Smith, RN, director, Women’s Center; and Jan Wynn, director, 2-East/Orthopedics.