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Health Care Professional of the Year Finalist: Larry Shackelford, Washington Regional Medical System

2 min read

Larry Shackelford
Washington Regional Medical System

At a young age, Larry Shackelford discovered he had a head for business balanced by a heart for helping others.

“I was one of those weird kids who decided, after doing a paper in the 7th grade for career orientation, that I wanted to be in the business world and wanted to become a CPA,” Shackelford said. “After a few years in public accounting and working primarily with physicians, medical clinics and hospitals, it became clear to me that health care was a calling that would give me the opportunity to make a difference.”

A graduate of the University of Arkansas and a CPA, Shackelford has spent the majority of his professional life lending his expertise in financial matters to the health care industry. He began as assistant administrator of a medical clinic where he also led the business office. He subsequently became CFO of a large, internal medicine clinic, administrator of a large pediatric clinic and CEO of a start-up multi-specialty clinic of 50-plus physicians.

In 2010, Shackelford stepped away from physician practice management and joined the administrative team at Washington Regional Medical System in Fayetteville.

“I have enjoyed being a part of a non-profit health system that can provide comprehensive services to the community that in and of itself may not cover the cost of providing that service but can be offered to the community in which we serve,” Shackelford said.

In his role as senior vice president of outreach and strategy, Shackelford works in concert with the CEO in leading planning and execution of the strategic and business development for the system. Specifically, he’s responsible for developing, planning and executing physician integration and oversees the organizational structure for outpatient and clinic operations. The state of flux in which the health care industry currently finds itself lends additional complexity to this already-intricate process.

“We have a saying that health care years are like ‘dog years’ when it comes to long-term planning,” he said. “We are continually being asked to do more for less and to expand and contract simultaneously.”

As convoluted as market and regulatory forces may be, he said, his mission and that of his peers and co-workers is clear.

“Our mission at Washington Regional is a commitment to improve the health of people in our community through compassionate, high-quality care.” he said. “We are making decisions today about the delivery and financing of health care that will have impact for our children and their children for some time to come.”


» University of Arkansas graduate

» Joined Washington Regional Medical System in 2010

» As Vice President of Outreach and Strategy, responsible for providing leadership in planning and execution to the strategic and business development of Washington Regional.

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