April 29, 2005

Coopwood new CEO of Metro Hospital

Featured Image

Reginald Coopwood, M.D.

Coopwood new CEO of Metro Hospital

Reginald W. Coopwood, M.D., has been named the next CEO of the Metro Hospital Authority which includes Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, Bordeaux Long Term Care and Knowles Assisted Living Facility and Adult Day Care.

Since 2000, he has served as the hospital's Chief Medical Officer. Coopwood replaces Roxane Spitzer, Ph.D., who is retiring as chief executive officer of the Hospital Authority.

A Nashville native, Coopwood received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1985, followed by his general surgical residency in 1990. In 1994, he was appointed chief of Surgery. He is an assistant professor of Surgery at Meharry and an assistant clinical professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“I am excited to be asked to lead the same institution that was such an invaluable part of my medical and surgical training over the past 20 years,” Coopwood said. “I have remained committed to providing the highest quality of care to individuals that otherwise may not have access to care. I look forward to working with our partners at Vanderbilt, at Meharry and in city government.

“One of my goals as CEO is to continue to improve the quality of care throughout the Hospital Authority,” Coopwood said. “It was important to me as Chief Medical Officer and remains a top priority.”

Coopwood has been a key leader at the hospital for years and is the “perfect choice” for the next CEO, said Norman B. Urmy, executive vice president of Clinical Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“I am looking forward to his leadership in the continuing development of successful programs at the hospital,” he added.

“Dr. Coopwood was our first chief medical officer. He has been well-prepared to assume the role of CEO and will continue to take the institutions forward,” Spitzer said.

Other goals of the newly appointed CEO include:

• Working closely with the present administrative and medical staff to ensure that Nashville General provides a competitive health care product that is of the highest quality in all aspects of patient care. This will be achieved in acute care, long-term and assisted living settings.

• Working closely with the city administration and council to ensure appropriate funding is obtained, while remaining fiscally responsible in the use of city dollars.

• Establishing a relationship with state government to increase the support that is provided in order to care for TennCare patients, as well as those at risk of losing benefits.

• Continuing to work closely with our health care partners, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University as well as reach out to community physicians and encourage them to take advantage of services at Nashville General at Meharry and Bordeaux Long Term Care for their private patients.

“We want to remain a viable institution, ready to provide the highest quality of care for those who walk through our doors,” Coopwood said.

Spitzer, who came to General after serving as COO at Vanderbilt Medical Group Network Practices and executive director of University Community Health Services, has led the hospital for six years.

“Under her leadership, the hospital has made wonderful improvements in patient services, financial stability and staff satisfaction,” Urmy said.

Dick Ragsdale, chair of the Hospital Authority, also applauded Spitzer's leadership and expertise.

“Thanks to Dr. Spitzer's stellar career of 40-plus years in health care administration, the Hospital Authority has evolved into an enterprise reflecting the inculcation of best practices in resource management, the infusion of technology upgrades to enhance patient safety and the affirmation of our unwavering commitment to quality health care for all of our citizens,” Ragsdale said.

Ragsdale said Coopwood brings a unique blend of expertise to the CEO post that will allow him to serve as a link among the medical staff of the Hospital Authority, Meharry and Vanderbilt.

“As a physician and medical officer overseeing quality initiatives, he is uniquely qualified to respond to the public's heightened awareness of issues related to patient safety and quality health care,” Ragsdale said. “Through his years of work, he is also sensitive to the need to respond to disparities in health status within the minority community.”