Hospital CFO: Melodie Colwell, Drew Memorial Health System

Hospital CFO: Melodie Colwell, Drew Memorial Health System
Melodie Colwell • CFO, Drew Memorial Health System | Monticello

In the last 18 months, COVID-19 has been the topic of nearly all conversations involving Melodie Colwell, Drew Memorial Hospital System’s CFO.

“It’s consumed every conversation, every thought we have,” said Colwell, who joined the Monticello hospital system in November 2014. “Every decision that we make has been about how to navigate through COVID.”

But Colwell likes a challenge, and that’s one of the reasons she decided to work at Drew Memorial. Health care finance is “something new all the time, which is one of the reasons why I love it,” she said.

Growing up in Spring Hill, Louisiana, Colwell said, she always enjoyed numbers — “because they are facts, and numbers don’t lie.”

In 2003, she started her finance career as an audit associate for Ernst & Young in New Orleans. She later worked for Deloitte & Touche in Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Drew Memorial Health System, which has about 440 employees, includes a 60-bed hospital, a surgery center, an oncology clinic and a women’s clinic.

Colwell’s management philosophy is to let people do their jobs. She also encourages her staff of about a dozen people to take on additional tasks.

She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in 2002 and her MBA from LSU at Shreveport in 2020. She received her CPA license in 2009.

Outside of the health system, Colwell is the treasurer of the Arkansas chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. She also sits on the finance committee of First Baptist Church of Monticello.

As a member of the hospital’s executive team, which is responsible for strategic planning, Colwell strives for the hospital to be successful. “It’s a backbone in our community, and I want to see it continue and keep the doors open,” Colwell said, “because it is such a valuable asset for us.”

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