In October 2019, Shawna Ives, at age 34, was named CFO of White River Health System in Batesville. A few months later, the pandemic hit, upending the financial health of hospitals around the country.
Nevertheless, Ives, who was born at White River Medical Center, has been able to improve the hospital system’s financial security and its bond rating during the pandemic. “We had our first audit since 2016 that we didn’t have audit adjustments,” she said.
In 2016, Ives joined WRHS after serving as an audit manager for the CPA firm Welch Couch & Co. of Batesville, where the health system was one of her clients. WRHS has about 1,800 employees.
“I love hospital financials,” she said. “The hospital accounting world is a completely different type of accounting.”
Ives describes herself as being “very analytical. I like to figure things out.” She also enjoys spreadsheets. “I like to have all the data in front of me to plan with data, which is exactly what an accountant is,” she said.
In 2008, Ives graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in business administration and became a CPA in 2012.
Ives serves on the board of the Northcentral Arkansas Development Council Inc. of Batesville, which works to improve the quality of life in the area. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. This year, she was an Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 honoree.
Ives said her mother is her role model. “She always encouraged me to pursue excellence and reminded me that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough.”
She and her husband, Jon, are expecting their first child in October. “I look forward to being that same type of role model for my daughter,” she said. “The other thing that drives me is the success of our health system.”