Magee Named to Top State Honor

Thursday, October 10, 2013
James Magee

James Magee, CEO of Piggott Community Hospital, has been named recipient of the 2013 A. Allen Weintraub Memorial Award, honoring an Arkansas hospital CEO for their work with hospital staff, physicians, patients and the greater community. The award, which will be presented Thursday evening, Oct. 10 at the Little Rock Marriott, is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA), and is named for the late administrator of St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock.

Magee is an active member of the AHA, and is also an active and well-known member of the Piggott community. He is immediate past-chair of the Arkansas Hospital Association board of directors where he also has served as Northeast District Director. He serves on the AHA's Executive Committee and the Finance Committee, as well as the AHA Services Inc.'s board of directors.

"I am greatly honored to be selected to receive this recognition," Magee said of the award. "Since it is the highest honor bestowed by the AHA I am even more deeply honored to be this year's recipient. But, I think that so much of the recognition is due to the support of the staff here at the hospital--and the marvelous job they do every day."

A former Piggott banker, Magee was chairman and CEO of Farmer's Bank and Trust and chaired the Industrial Development Commission of Arkansas under former Governor Bill Clinton. In addition, he was a board member of Freed-Hardeman College, the Mid-South School of Banking, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Memphis Branch, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Bankers Association.

At Piggott Community Hospital, Magee is an advocate for quality healthcare for all citizens, having begun his association with the hospital as a board member and then as CEO in 1997. He is a strong supporter of employee education and continuously supports his employees. It is his credo that if you set up situations properly and if you place the proper employees in those positions, those who work with you will "do it right the first time."

"I am thankful for the support of the medical staff, the doctors nurses and support personnel--they make my job so much easier thanks to all they do," he observed. "I have a genuine admiration and regard for the job the frontline caregivers do every day."

In his 16 years as CEO of the hospital, Magee has acquired funding and expanded the facility by improving emergency care, outpatient services and admissions. He's added rural health clinics, home health programs throughout the area, medical equipment facilities, telemedicine, specialty physician services, wound care management and an ambulance service.

During the devastating ice storm, which impacted all of northern Arkansas in 2009, Clay County was particularly hard hit and without utilities far longer than any other. During the first weeks of the storm, Magee lived at the hospital -- literally, showing his employees just what type of leader he was. And for those efforts, his employees honored him twice for his heroic response in support of both the hospital and the community.

"I'm also appreciative of the support we receive from the Healthcare Facilities Board, and the members of the community in the Piggott area," he added. "I certainly appreciate the continued support."

As evidence of the support he shows in return for the citizens of Piggott, he gives a book of life lessons to local graduating seniors complete with a handwritten note of encouragement. He has also been active in local civic efforts, and is a past-president of both the Piggott Lions Club and the Piggott Chamber of Commerce.

"I'd also like to take a moment to say how proud I am of our hospital," he surmised. "I feel we are very fortunate to have the facility we do have to serve our community--and it gives me great pleasure to be just a part of it."

The Arkansas Hospital Association is a membership organization, founded in 1929, that has assisted its members through collective initiatives which facilitate the integration and improvement of the delivery of healthcare services throughout Arkansas.

The AHA accomplishes its mission by developing programs, activities and services which advocate member positions before government, business, the public and others; enhance the positive image of the membership and the AHA as a leader in the healthcare arena; provide and develop value-added services and programs which benefit members and other customers; serve as a resource for hospitals and patients in the areas of hospital quality and patient safety; research, analyze, interpret, forecast and effectively communicate pertinent healthcare-related information; provide educational and other forums which enhance hospital management, clinical and administrative skills.

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