Baptist Health names Conway hospital administrator

Originally published: April 8, 2015 in the Log Cabin Democrat | Link to article

Tennessee native Jamie Carter has been named vice president and administrator at what will soon be Baptist Health Medical Center – Conway off Interstate 40, a role he started last week.

He has worked in health care, running hospitals or physician practices, for about 23 years in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

“My dad was an anesthesiologist and mom was a registered nurse so my brother and I grew up in a household that was predominately on the provider side,” Carter said. “I really just fell in love with it as kid.”

Baptist Health of Little Rock’s Conway hospital is currently under construction as the system’s ninth hospital. Completion is set for spring 2016 on the 200,000 square-foot, 100-bed facility, a $130 million project.

Construction is “on track and on budget,” Carter said.

Carter most recently worked as chief operating officer at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

During his time with Methodist, Carter was the lead on a number of projects.

“We constructed a $30 million replacement emergency room, as built a new 100-bed hospital in Olive Branch, Miss.,” he said. “Those experiences that we had as an organization are going to really benefit us in making sure that we are fiscally responsible, that we’re on time and that we really put the patient first with all the decisions that we make.”

Carter also worked as president and CEO of Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis.

In the short term of his new job title, Carter oversees construction of Baptist Health, as well as building a medical staff. The hospital is looking to hire about 450 employees.

“We have an opportunity at this hospital to really bring in a robust clinical team with the technology that is available to us, and really transform patient and family-centered care,” he said, adding that the hospital is looking to recruit the “best and the brightest.”

Carter said Baptist Health in Conway will use national benchmarks to assess outcomes and the quality of care in the years to come.

“We are fortunate to have someone with his level of experience joining Baptist Health, and he will be a great fit in the organization,” said Doug Weeks, chief operating officer and executive vice president for Baptist Health of Little Rock, in a statement.

Carter said Baptist Health’s emergence in Conway is exciting for the system, in addition to being a way to expand the scope of health care options for residents in the community.

“[Conway] has just exploded [in terms of growth] and Conway in particular has been very supportive of our system for many years now,” he said. “For us to have the opportunity that we’ve been blessed with… is really part of the strategy and continued improvement to the health of Faulkner County and surrounding counties.”

Once Baptist Health’s Conway hospital opens, Carter said the goal of the facility is to be a “first of its kind” in the area, with a focus on family-centered care.

“I don’t think there’s another hospital in the state… that’s going to have the technological capabilities that this hospital is going to have,” he said, also referencing the personal touches that he envisions for the hospital.

Some of those technological capabilities include enhanced bedside controls in patient rooms, an addition that Carter said is “far beyond” what he has seen in the field.

“The equipment that is going to be at he physicians’ hands is state of the art,” he said. “This is one of the finest facilities that I’ve seen in my career so far.”

Carter is no stranger to the state, having developed close relationships with senior leadership at Baptist Health and Arkansas memories that date back to his childhood. Since he was in second grade, he has taken routine trips to Greers Ferry Lake in north central Arkansas.

His family has also traveled to the state for tournaments and other functions.

“When this opportunity availed itself and the quality of leadership, as well as the mission and vision of this system… It just was a perfect match for me and my family,” he said.

As for his other favorite pastimes, Carter said the Natural State presents him with the opportunity to hunt and fish in his spare time.

Carter received his bachelor of science degree in commerce, business administration and health care administration from the University of Alabama before earning a master of business administration degree from the University of Mississippi.

During his career in the health care field, Carter has amassed a number of achievements such as being a recipient of the A. Allen Weintraub Award from the Arkansas Hospital Association.

He was also named Citizen of the Year by the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce, included in the 2008 Top 40 Under 40 list by the Memphis Business Journal and part of the inaugural Leadership Arkansas class in 2006.