Sparks Health System's D. Melody Trimble Promoted to Group President

Health Management Associates Inc. of Naples, Fla., said Wednesday it has promoted D. Melody Trimble of Fort Smith to president of the company's Southern and Western Group, which includes 26 hospitals in seven states.

The promotion is effective Jan. 1.

Trimble is currently vice president and market CEO of Health Management's Sparks Health System and Summit Medical Center in Fort Smith. Before that, she held several executive positions at Health Management-owned facilities in Florida, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

She joined Health Management in 1991.

Trimble announced the move to hospital staff on Wednesday.

"This is one of the toughest decisions I have ever made," she said. "Professionally, I am thrilled for the opportunity to have oversight of 26 hospitals, including Sparks and Summit; however, personally, I will miss you, the finest group of physicians, nurses and health care professionals I have ever had the privilege to lead."

In her new role, Trimble will report to Gary D. Newsome, president and CEO of Health Management, a publicly traded hospital company (NYSE: %%HMA%%) with about 10,500 licensed beds in non-urban communities throughout the country.

"Melody has been a successful leader throughout her career at Health Management, most recently by growing Sparks into the thriving health system it is today," Newsome said. "With her nursing background, she understands the vital role nurses play in working with physicians to provide high-quality care with a human touch to our patients, and now she can bring that perspective to a larger group of our hospitals."

Trimble will replace Joe D. Pinion, who announced his retirement from the company effective at the end of the year.