Frye Regional Medical Center Names Gar Atchison CEO

March 1, 2016

Frye Regional Medical Center (FRMC), a Duke LifePoint Healthcare facility, announced today that Garfield "Gar" Atchison has been selected to serve as chief executive officer (CEO) of the hospital, effective immediately.  Atchison has served as interim CEO of the hospital during its transition to Duke LifePoint, and most recently served as chief operating officer (COO) of FRMC since 2014. 

"Gar has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills during FRMC's integration into Duke LifePoint," said Jamie Carter, COO of LifePoint Health's Eastern Group, which includes FRMC and other Duke LifePoint facilities. "We are proud to appoint him to this role on a permanent basis and know he will be a strong leader as the hospital continues to provide high quality patient care and respond to the community's evolving healthcare needs."

A member of FRMC's senior leadership team since 2011, Atchison brings more than 25 years of healthcare management experience to his new role. As COO for the hospital, Atchison had oversight of daily operations and managed key capital improvement projects, such as the construction of a new pharmacy and a new vault for High Dose Radiation Therapy. Before serving as COO, Atchison was vice president of business development and market operations director for FRMC's physician network.

"Gar has proven himself a strong and steady leader for our hospital," said Cemil M. Purut, M.D., chair of FRMC's Board of Governors, "We are thrilled that he has accepted this new role as CEO after having served Frye so well for many years. His vision, enthusiasm and deep commitment to our hospital and the communities it serves made Gar the right choice. Moreover, his leadership skills and strong commitment to quality are essential as we grow FRMC to become the preferred regional referral hospital for western North Carolina."

Prior to joining FRMC, Atchison served as CEO of Hickory Orthopaedic Center in Hickory, N.C., as well as practice administrator of Bay Street Orthopaedics in Petoskey, Mich. He began his career managing financial operations at Northern Michigan Hospital, also in Petoskey. 

A Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives, Atchison earned a bachelor's degree in financial management from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., and an MBA from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

"I am genuinely excited to step into this leadership position on a permanent basis and look forward to exploring new ways to further enhance our delivery of high quality patient care," said Atchison. "It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead FRMC into the future, especially as part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare."  

About Frye Regional Medical Center

A part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, Frye Regional Medical Center has served the health and medical needs of the residents of the Catawba Valley region since 1911 with a commitment to delivering high quality and compassionate care with a focus on patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. Frye Regional Medical Center includes a 355-bed acute care hospital, home to the Frye Heart Center, Cancer Center, General and Bariatric Surgery, Emergency Services, Advanced Orthopedics, Neurosciences and Women's Birthing Center. The system also includes the Frye South Campus, an inpatient adult behavioral health treatment center designed to provide therapeutic stabilization. Frye Regional also offers the region access to more than 60 primary care and specialty care providers through the FryeCare Physicians Network. 

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint's experience in community-based hospital management and Duke's world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.

Media Contact:
Amanda Brasier (828) 315-5739