KINGSPORT - Holston Valley Medical Center has a new president, but his face and leadership already are familiar at the Kingsport hospital.
Blaine Douglas, who has served as interim president of HVMC since April 2006, has been appointed to that position permanently, Wellmont Health System announced Wednesday afternoon.
"Blaine's ability to relate to people is a tremendous strength," Jeanette Blazier, chairwoman of the Holston Valley board of directors, said in a Wednesday news release.
"As interim president, he demonstrated he can build a strong team and work in partnership with our physicians and employees," Blazier said. "I am certain Holston Valley is in the best of hands with Blaine as our president."
Douglas joined Wellmont in 2002 as senior vice president of support services. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2005, a position he held until taking the helm of Holston Valley last year.
"I am always gratified to promote leaders from within our organization, and I can say without hesitation Blaine is one of the most exceptional young health care executives with whom I have had the privilege of working," Dr. Richard Salluzzo, Wellmont's president and chief executive officer, said in the release.
"He performs his tasks expertly and without ego, without exception," Salluzzo said. "His relationship management skills are exceptional, and he is respected by all who work with him."
Douglas in a phone interview Wednesday said he hopes to oversee the smooth completion of Project Platinum, a three-year, $100 million renovation and expansion of Holston Valley set to be completed by early 2009. The new parking garage is done, with construction on D building to start in 30 to 45 days and be done in the summer of 2008. Construction on the E tower - including an emergency department enlarged beyond initial plans - will start in the fall of 2007 or winter of 2008 and be done by early 2009.
The project consolidates women's and children's services and will include a new hospital entrance from Stone Drive.
Douglas also cited ongoing initiatives to improve customer service and make the hospital a national safety model, with goals of no medication errors and no patient falls.
"It's been exciting to see the staff respond to this and take it to another level," Douglas said.
He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in fire prevention and safety engineering technology and a master's degree in health care administration.
He is pursuing a doctorate in health care administration at Central Michigan University. He is a certified health care executive and a certified health care facilities manager, as well as a diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Before joining Wellmont, Douglas worked as vice president of facilities support and psychiatric services at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix. He previously served as director of support services at Stillwater Medical Center in Stillwater, Okla.
Douglas and his wife, Kellie, have three children, Jordan, Logan and Ryan. They live near Boone Lake in Sullivan County.