Bill Forbes

VALDOSTA – Bill Forbes has been appointed interim chief executive officer of South Georgia Medical Center.

C. Ross Berry, SGMC CEO, notified the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County this week he believes the governing body has violated the terms of his employment contract and asked for a buyout.

At this time, the Hospital Authority is making no comments on Berry’s departure or the status of the authority’s negotiations with Berry; however, Berry is no longer operating as the CEO of the hospital, the authority chairman said. 

“Berry has ceased providing any services and we are working through our counsel to finalize his departure,” said Sam Allen, chairman of the Hospital Authority.

After a two-hour long executive session at a publicly called meeting Friday morning, Forbes was named interim CEO. He is the SGMC systems project administrator.

Forbes was selected, the panel said, because of his previous experience as the CEO of the Clinch County hospital system for eight years and the work he has performed during his 10 years of experience at SGMC.

“(Forbes) has been with this organization for a number of years,” Allen said. “We’ve asked him to wear many hats over the years. He has always been gracious to come back and help us.

“We have a lot of confidence in him, and we know that he has a good team to work with and will do an outstanding job during this interim time. … We feel he has all the attributes and leadership abilities to lead us.”

The authority does not have a timeline for when it will begin to search for a new CEO.

“We certainly have a couple of issues we need to settle in the meantime that we are working on with our attorneys,” Allen said about starting the search for a permanent CEO. “Probably, after that’s settled, we will look at seeing what direction we will move in the future.” 

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