Dallas, TX, May 13, 2013 - Bay Medical-Sacred Heart ("Bay Medical") announced today that Barry Keel will be the new Chief Executive Officer for the hospital effective immediately. Keel has been a hospital CEO for more than 17 years and has also served as Chief Financial Officer and a Clinical Director during his career. Keel has worked in both not-for-profit and for-profit settings throughout the Southeast. He joins Bay Medical-Sacred Heart from Health Management Associates where he served as the Alabama Market CEO with responsibility for two hospitals totaling more than 400 patient beds. 

Paul Kappelman, LHP Division President, commented, "After an extensive national search, we felt that Barry had the right leadership and organizational experience to fit with our company culture and to lead Bay Medical to the next level. He is a seasoned hospital operator who has shown remarkable success not only financially but also in quality and patient safety, as well as patient, physician, employee and community satisfaction and engagement. Barry is joining a distinguished hospital with an outstanding medical staff and exceptional employees. Bay Medical has a rich history of serving the needs of the community and under Barry's leadership Bay Medical will continue to be the market leader."

Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Chairman of the Board Scott Clemons said, "Barry has a proven track record of improving patient, physician and employee satisfaction. That style of leadership has allowed him to improve the quality of care and increase revenue at a number of hospitals. We think he is the right leader at the right time to bring Bay Medical into a new era of health care and to reach its greatest potential."

Susan Davis, President and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System said, "Barry's strength in developing relationships in the community and taking a team approach to the care of the patient will serve Bay Medical and the community well. He has a strong belief in the principles of Servant Leadership which will set the tone of the leadership team at Bay Medical."

"My philosophy is - it all starts with the employees," says Keel. "Employees are a hospital's number one asset. When you take good care of the employees, they take good care of the patients. That translates into outstanding quality as well as high patient and physician satisfaction."

Keel said he was interested in Bay Medical-Sacred Heart because of the community and the unique opportunity to work with Sacred Heart and LHP Hospital Group. "The reputation of each of these organizations is outstanding and I like their vision and their philosophy. Bay Medical has so many great things in place to build upon and I love the Panama City community. My family has vacationed in this area for years and it is a place where I would love to finish out my career."

Keel has a Master of Science in Health Policy and Administration from Mercer University in Atlanta and a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration from Auburn University.