Russ Harrington Retiring, Troy Wells to Succeed as CEO of Baptist Health

Baptist Health of Little Rock announced Monday that its president and CEO Russell Harrington Jr. will retire July 1 and be succeeded by Troy Wells, who is currently Baptist's senior vice president of administrative services.

After retiring, Harrington will remain at Baptist as president emeritus and senior advisor, according to a Baptist Health news release.

"It has been an honor to be a part of this healing ministry and be able to serve the health care needs of our state for 40 years," Harrington said in the news release. "I am proud of the success we have been able to achieve as an organization and consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with so many skilled physicians, dedicated caregivers and committed staff."

Under Harrington’s leadership, Baptist Health grew to eight hospitals with nearly 1,400 beds. Construction is expected to begin this year on a 100-bed hospital in Conway, which will be its ninth hospital in the state. It also is one of the state's top private employers with more than 7,600 workers.

Harrington was named Baptist Health's president and CEO in 1984. He previously served as associate executive director of Baptist Health, administrator of Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock and executive director of Baptist Memorial Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Harrington is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.  In 2012, Baptist's flagship hospital, Baptist Health Medical Center — Little Rock, reported net patient revenue of $431.9 million and a loss of $1.8 million.

Jim Jones, chairman of Baptist Health's board of trustees, said in the news release that Harrington will leave "a lasting legacy of improving health care in Arkansas."

"His dedication to improving the health of Arkansans and his commitment to true servant leadership has made Baptist Health the leading health-care organization it is today," Jones said.

Baptist's board of trustees also announced other promotions Monday. Doug Weeks will move from senior vice president of hospital operations to executive vice president and chief operating officer and Bob Roberts, Baptist's chief financial officer, will add executive vice president to his title.