AUGUST 18, 2022 – Catawba Valley Health System (CVHS) has announced
the hiring of Dennis Johnson of Elizabethtown, KY, as its next President
and Chief Executive Officer effective November 14, 2022. He succeeds Eddie
Beard who previously announced his end-of-year retirement plans after
having served CVHS for over 33 years in numerous positions including Chief
Nursing Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and most recently Chief Executive Officer.
CVHS Board Chair Chris Baltz said Johnson, who has been serving as President
of Baptist Health Hardin, part of the Kentucky-based Baptist Health system,
was the top candidate of the board’s search committee after a nationwide
search of over six months. “The entire CVHS Board of Trustees believes
Dennis Johnson is a great fit for CVHS and our community,” Baltz stated.
He added, “The interest we had from outstanding executives from across
the U.S. was overwhelming. So many candidates were drawn to our organization’s
strong record of financial viability, nationally recognized quality scores,
and outstanding patient, employee and physician satisfaction. The quality
of life in this region also was a tremendous selling point.”
Baptist Health Hardin is a 300-bed hospital, the third largest employer
in Hardin County, and serves more than 400,000 residents of 10 central
Kentucky counties. Johnson joined Baptist Health in 1990 as an administrative
resident and has been promoted to several executive roles, including vice
president of Baptist Health Lexington, administrator for Baptist Health
La Grange, and his current position at Hardin.
Baltz added that Johnson has a well-known reputation as an influential
decision-maker with strong communication and presentation skills, along
with being a very effective negotiator. He comes from an organization
of over 2,400 employees and 500 medical staff members.
Johnson holds a bachelor of science degree in healthcare administration
from the University of Alabama, and a master’s degree in healthcare
administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A Florida
native, Johnson and his wife, Tracy, have three children.
“It’s difficult to name all of the tremendous achievements
we’ve enjoyed under Eddie Beard’s leadership,” Baltz
said. “However, the cornerstone of his 33 years has been our steadfast
focus on providing the best possible quality of healthcare for our community.
Eddie has led us to grow and continue adding services for this community
without sacrificing quality or safety. He will be sorely missed, but he
has laid a great foundation for Dennis and the entire CVHS team.”