Arkansas Children's Hospital CEO Jonathan Bates Announces Retirement

by Mark Friedman  on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 1:05 pm  

Gov. Mike Beebe, left, applauds Dr. Jonathan Bates at a ceremony announcing Bates' retirement as CEO of Arkansas Children's Hospital. (Photo by Mark Friedman)

Jonathan Bates, president and CEO of Arkansas Children's Hospital, announced his retirement on Friday.

Bates, 67, will step down on June 30, after 20 years of service at the state's only pediatric medial center.

Earler this year, ACH completed a $121 million expansion that added a new South Wing including 54 new beds as well as updates to the hospital's Heart Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a new emergency department. 

Tom Baxter, the chairman of ACH's board of directors, also announced during the news conference that the hospital will create the Jonathan R. Bates, MD Center for Patient & Professional Advocacy.

The center will receive $3 million in initial funding from donations to the ACH board and ACH Foundation. The center also will be supported by the ACH Research Institute. The center will include an endowed chair established in Bates' name and focus on improving health care.

"Following Dr. Bates' example, Arkansas Children's Hospital will be a national leader in the practice of patient safety and in delivering the highest quality of care," Baxter said.

The top executive search firm Witt/Kieffer of Oak Brook, Ill., is handling nationwide search for Bates' replacement, which should be in place by July 1, Baxter said.

During the news conference, Bates said when he arrived at the hospital it had a budget of about $100 million and was growing. Now the budget stands at $900 million.

Bates, who worked at Boston Children's Hospital and Rady Children's Hospital at San Diego, said, "The other state's I've been at, the watchword is normally competition," Bates said. "But in our state, the watchword is collaboration and cooperation.

"It's been my special privilege to be part of this," he said.



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