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Stewart Resigns as Sparks, Summit CEO; Tim Schmidt Named Interim

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Sparks Health System and Summit Medical Center has named Tim Schmidt interim CEO following the resignation of Charles Stewart on Wednesday after less than six months on the job.

Schmidt’s interim role is effective March 20.

Donna Bragg, market director of marketing and communications for Sparks and Summit, told Arkansas Business she could not discuss the reason for Stewart’s resignation.

“We appreciate his contributions to our health system and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Bragg said in an email Wednesday announcing Stewart’s resignation. “Our work to identify a new CEO will begin immediately, and it will include input from our Board of Trustees and medical staff leadership.”

In the meantime, Schmidt brings more than 20 years of hospital administration, at hospitals in Texas, Illinois and New Mexico, to his new position.

“While the search for a permanent candidate is underway, Tim will provide support to physicians and employees as they continue their work to deliver quality care to patients at Sparks Regional Medical Center and Summit Medical Center,” Bragg said in an email to Arkansas Business on Thursday.

Stewart assumed the CEO position Sept. 30 and oversaw the Sparks Health System in Fort Smith and Summit Medical Center in Van Buren.

He came to Sparks and Summit from Poplar Bluff, Mo., where he was the Missouri market CEO for Health Management Associates for two years at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center and Twin Rivers Medical Center.

Stewart has more than 30 years of experience in hospital management at hospital systems in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. 

Bragg said the search for the next Sparks and Summit CEO would look for “an experienced and motivated hospital leader who will help Sparks Regional Medical Center and Summit Medical Center continue in our commitment to serving the community with excellent health services.”

Stewart was the third CEO at Sparks and Summit since 2012. Gary Blan was appointed to the position last March after Melody Trimble was promoted in January 2013 to president of Health Management Associates’ Southern and Western Group.

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