Washington Regional names new chief operating officer

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,135 views 

Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville announced Monday (Jan. 6) the hiring of Birch Wright as chief operating officer and hospital administrator. The job is effective March 1.

Wright will replace Mark Bever, who is expected to retire in April after more than 15 years at Washington Regional.

“We conducted a diligent search to find the right person to be our next COO,” president and CEO Larry Shackelford said in a statement. “Birch is an experienced and talented leader with the right set of competencies. We are confident he will build on Washington Regional Medical System’s mission to improve the health of the community and provide a consistent focus on quality patient care.

“Wright’s experience as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award will be invaluable in our journey to demonstrate performance excellence using the systems perspective with our core concepts and values.”

Wright has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2001 and served in numerous leadership roles. Since 2018, he has served as associate medical director and COO of the Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.

Wright earned a bachelor’s degree with a minor in social work from the University of Arkansas in 1998 and a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in healthcare administration from the UA in 2001.