Patient Care Welcomes New Division Directors

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Employees in the Patient Care Services and Home Health Divisions of the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority welcomed new division directors this fall. Cathy Hughes, RN, was tapped to lead Patient Care Services and Jim Peppenhorst, RN, was selected to head the Home Health Division effective October 1.

“One of the most exciting things is that we were able to fill both of these positions from within the organization,” said Mike Marshall, CEO/Administrator. Competition for the positions was intense, according to Marshall, who said they received a number of internal and external applications from highly qualified candidates for each position.

“We’re obviously thrilled to have Cathy in the role of Division Director of Patient Care Services,” Marshall said. “Her previous experience as a director of nursing, as well as her performance as Division Director of Home Health, assures that we will continue to improve and strengthen our nursing services, which are the backbone of our hospital.”

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Hughes, who helped establish the Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital Home Health Agency in 1992, is excited to take on the task of leading PCS. “I’d like to think I can make a difference in the division,” Hughes said. “One of the first things I want to do is to get everyone working together as a team. Teamwork and attitude are my first priorities. I want to create an atmosphere with positive attitudes and good patient care. Patient care is the most important thing that we’ve got to be able to produce.”

She plans to rely heavily on her employees to continue to hone their skills and spirit of service. “We already have a strong group of people who are proven leaders and I want to help build upon their strengths in order to help the division grow even stronger,” she said.

Jim Peppenhorst, who holds degrees in both nursing and business, has spent the last 10 years as the Department Manager of Health Information Management. “Jim has a demonstrated record of success in HIM,” said Marshall. “He will do a fantastic job building on the great work that Cathy and her staff have been doing in Home Health.”

“I’m really enjoying working in Home Health,” said Peppenhorst. “Already being a registered nurse and having combined that experience into the non-clinical side of the operation, I was ready to step back into the nursing arena and felt this would be a good fit.

“Being the division director over home health is a promotion in the line of management, as well as a bonus of putting me back to the part of healthcare that I love, which is nursing and providing patient care.”

Peppenhorst has big plans for the division in the coming years. “My plans over the next year or two are to bring home health into the electronic age and get us online with a home health module for electronic charting.

“Taking the reins from Cathy is a luxury that many people don’t have in a new job,” he added. “She was a well rounded and experienced leader and it shows in the organization she helped build. I’ve already opened the door to a well-trained, loving and family-styled office situation….”

and I look forward to growing this and helping to make it even stronger.”