Gulf Coast Medical Center has a bittersweet announcement to make. The man who's been CEO for almost 7 years, Gary Stokes is moving up in the Tenet Healthcare System and moving out to California.
Mr. Stokes reflects on lots of changes and growth in the hospital since he started six and a half years ago. He says the toughest part of this promotion will be leaving the wonderful people of South Mississippi behind.
"Career wise it looked like it was a good move and they had talked about other places and other opportunities, but it was always the people that pulled us back. And that's gonna be the most difficult thing, to say those good byes," Stokes said.
For three years, Stokes earned the coveted "Circle of Excellence Award", Tenet's highest honor. It's given to the CEO who has the most patient, physician and employee satisfaction rating in the nation.
LPN Beverly Ignacio says Stokes' employee relations are unmatched.
"Of all the facilities that I've worked at, he seems to be the most involved with the hospital. He has really worked well with outside facilities you know getting things involved with the hospital and keeping employees happy and keeping them involved in the hospital."
April 28th will be Stokes' first day as CEO of the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo California. Gulf Coast Medical Center has not yet named his replacement.