Grace named new hospital chief

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County has announced that Walter J. Grace, administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Booneville, has been promoted to the same position at its location within the coming weeks.

Grace will be replacing James Huffman, who has been promoted to administrator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.

Prior to serving as administrator and CEO at Baptist-Booneville, Grace was an assistant administrator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto for seven years, having been promoted from the position of controller at that hospital.

 Grace has also served as chief financial officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women. He joined Baptist Memorial Health Care in 1997 as manager of capital planning.

“We are excited to have Walter, with his proven track record of leadership and integrity, lead Baptist Union County and continue the success of our organization,” said David Hogan executive vice president and chief operating officer for Baptist.

Grace holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi and is an ordained deacon at First Baptist Church in New Albany.

Huffman has served as Baptist-Union County’s CEO since the fall of 2005 and has worked for Baptist Memorial Health Care since 1995, holding such positions as CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, and chief financial officer both in Columbus and Memphis, Tenn.

A North Carolina native, Huffman has a bachelor’s degree in health care management from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in finance and a certificate in health care finance from the University of South Carolina.

Hospital spokesmen say the transition will happen in February.