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CEO reflects on first year at Piedmont Newton Hospital
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COVINGTON, Ga. - Eric Bour, M.D., MBA, recently celebrated his one-year anniversary as chief executive officer of Piedmont Newton Hospital. Dr. Bour joined Piedmont Healthcare in 2017 after serving as president of Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, part of the Greenville Health System. A general and bariatric surgeon with nearly 30 years of practice experience, Dr. Bour has a passion for quality and patient safety. On this occasion, Dr. Bour provided the following update on hospital initiatives and his plans for the future. He is pleased with the positive changes that have taken place and is focused on continuing to improve the patient experience at Piedmont Newton.

Q: What were your goals for Piedmont Newton during this first year?

A: My goals were to stabilize the Emergency Department staff, settle the EMS dispute to allow Piedmont Newton to retain independent EMS services and maintain our 40-year tradition of providing EMS services, improve the patient experience at Piedmont Newton, for both inpatient and Emergency Department, and reconnect Piedmont Newton and Piedmont Healthcare as a whole to the community. We have made tremendous strides in the Emergency Department, reached an agreement with the Newton County Board of Commissioners to continue as the EMS provider for Newton County, have improved patient experience – a journey that we will continue -- and have really made an impact on what Piedmont Newton and the Piedmont brand bring to Covington and Newton County.

Q: What do you see as the biggest accomplishment of your first year at Piedmont Newton?

A: Giving our staff and leaders the ability to function independently while holding them accountable for their work and areas. I am very proud of the fact that they have embraced the challenge and are working as a cohesive team focused on providing the best care to our patients. 

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Working with the team at Piedmont Newton. When I first stepped foot in the door here as an anonymous observer, I could immediately sense the family-like atmosphere and focus on the patient. I have the privilege of working with a group of great people – who are expert at what they do. As Steve Jobs said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” I am surrounded by smart people and value their input and teamwork as we continue our work to be the healthcare provider of choice in our area.

Q: What is your priority for Piedmont Newton in the next year?

A: We must continue to drive improvement in the patient experience. We provide high quality, safe patient care. Our goal is to do the best we can to connect the outstanding care to the experience of our patients, families and visitors.

Q: What do you want the community to know most about Piedmont Newton?

A: We are here for them. We strive to be the provider of choice for medical care, general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics and any of the other services we provide. Our goal is to live the Piedmont Promise – “To Make a Positive Difference in Every Life We Touch.”