Baptist Health announced Monday (Aug. 29) that Jeff Carrier recently joined Baptist Health as president of the Baptist Health Western Region, taking over for Kim Miller, who served as president of the region beginning in 2020 when former region president Harrison Dean retired.
The Western Region includes two hospitals and more than 40 outpatient locations.
Carrier has 20 years of healthcare experience he brings to the Fort Smith region as he assumes responsibility for Baptist Health’s hospitals in Fort Smith and Van Buren, and the region’s primary and specialty clinics. Baptist Health’s Western Region has approximately 1,600 employees.
Carrier, who is a registered nurse, previously served as president and CEO of Centura Health in Kansas where he was responsible for multiple hospitals and numerous clinics in a three-state region, a news release said. Prior to that, Carrier spent 12 years in leadership roles at Freeman Health System in Joplin, Mo. In addition to his health care career, he also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
“Baptist Health is well-known in the region for being a leader in health care and I’m excited to join the state’s first hospital so that I can help continue that legacy of quality and compassionate care,” Carrier said in a statement. Carrier was unavailable Monday for an interview.
Carrier and his wife, Jill, have three children.
Prior to serving as the president of the Baptist Health Western District, Miller served as president and CEO of Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Inc., in Beaver Dam, Wisc.
Little Rock-based Baptist Health has 11 hospitals, urgent care centers, a senior living community and more than 100 primary and specialty care clinics, and 11,000 employees in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.
Baptist Health System acquired in July 2018 what was then Sparks Health System from Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems (CHS). The deal closed in the fourth quarter of 2018. A transaction amount was not disclosed.
Prior to 2018, Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates acquired Sparks in a $138-million deal that closed Nov. 30, 2009. It was that transaction that resulted in funding for the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE), the parent organization of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Health Sciences. The Degen Foundation, a Fort Smith-based philanthropy, was created with some of the revenue from the sale of Sparks to HMA, providing initial ACHE funding to build its initial $32.4 million facility in east Fort Smith in the Chaffee Crossing area, which opened in August 2017.
Then, in a deal that closed in early 2014, Sparks was part of the sale of HMA to CHS, a company whose portfolio of hospitals was then nearly double the size of HMA’s portfolio. The $7.6 billion deal closed in early 2014.