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Shands Live Oak new CEO Richard Huth.

- Photo: Andrew McGee
Suwannee Democrat

Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center had a welcome reception for it’s new Chief Executive Officer, Richard Huth, on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 4,.

The reception for Huth included other Shands employees, meeting and mingling with representatives of several local business owners and government officials.

Huth, originally from Arkansas, received a Bachelor of Science degree in both zoology and medical technology from Louisiana Tech University. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Northeast Louisiana University.

Later, after several progressive health-care administrative jobs, Huth became Chief Operating Officer of Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee in 2000. While overseeing all the necessary operations of the hospital, Huth also managed the construction, design and equipping of a new $120 million, 200-bed facility.

In 2009, Huth was named CEO at Doctor’s Memorial Hospital in Perry. Despite the huge debt the hospital held, newly appointed Huth was able to turn an almost $1 million profit the following year. Huth has been responsible for upgrades in equipment and services and improving quality scores.

“As I have gained experience as an executive in different hospitals, I grew to appreciate the challenges and opportunities that exist in rural areas,” Huth said. “Shands of Live Oak is one of those smaller hospitals with a commitment to providing excellent patient care and increasing it’s role in the community.”

Michael Fencel, president of Health Management Association North Florida Division selected Huth for the CEO position. Fencel was impressed with Huth’s executive leadership and enhancement of quality of care he has brought to his hospitals.

“With his love of rural areas, he (Huth) is the perfect fit for Shands Live Oak and we are fortunate to add him to our team,” said Fencel.

Huth seemed to be very happy with the move to Suwannee County and settling in for the new challenges.

“I’m pleased to be in Live Oak. My wife and I enjoy it here,” said Huth. “We have an excellent staff here and I look forward to growing the hospital.”

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