By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Q&A with Piedmont Newton’s CEO, Lindsey Petrini
Lindsey Petrini
Lindsey Petrini is the fourth female CEO appointed by Piedmont Healthcare since the start of 2023. - photo by Special Photo

NEWTON COUNTY – In mid-July, Lindsey Petrini became Piedmont Newton Hospital’s CEO – the fourth female CEO appointed by  Piedmont Healthcare since the start of 2023.

An Arkansas native, Petrini attended the University of Central Arkansas and studied mass communication before obtaining her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Arkansas. In May, Petrini will receive her master’s in business administration from the University of Georgia.

Prior to her employment with Piedmont Newton, Petrini fulfilled leadership roles at Wellstar North Fulton Medical Center. There, she provided leadership oversight for multiple accreditation initiatives and executed several projects, including the expansion of cardiac catheterization and vascular services, hospital bed expansion, a cancer center and multiple off-campus outpatient departments. 

Her decision to move to the area was both “professional and personal.” Along with the opportunity to assume the position of hospital CEO, which is one of Petrini’s dreams, she and her family were also looking to move outside of Atlanta.

The hospital’s newly appointed CEO provided insight on her career, hobbies and passions in the healthcare industry with The Covington News.

What was your childhood like?

LP: I am originally from Hot Springs, Arkansas. It’s about an hour southwest of Little Rock. My parents and both sets of grandparents are from Arkansas. My mom was an elementary school teacher and my dad was a certified public accountant. I have one older brother who lives in Franklin, Tenn., with his wife and twin girls.

I had a great childhood. Hot Springs is a city that is also a national park, so there are lots of things to do outside. It is nestled in the Ouachita Mountains and surrounded by four lakes.  The city has some really interesting history to it and a lot of fun things to do, so growing up there was fun. Most of my time as a kid was outside on the lakes, at the local mall as a teenager and running around making up things to do like you do in most smaller towns. I also enjoyed playing tennis and ended up going to college on a tennis scholarship. 

Tell me about your family -- Are you married? Do you have children? Pets?

LP: My husband, John, and I have been married for over eight years. He works for Dickey Broadcasting Company, which is best known for the radio station 680 The Fan, as the director of Digital Media. He LOVES baseball so working for 680 was right up his alley. Up until recently, he had been a season ticket holder to the Braves for over 20 years and we went all the time to games before we had our daughter.

He and I have a blended family that includes three children, two dogs and a grand-kitty. John and I are pet-lovers and have Sadie and Ginger, our two rescue dogs. We also presently have our grand-kitty, Rocky, who my stepdaughter left with us when she went off to her new job.  This is Rocky’s second time living with her grandparents, so she feels a bit like our cat. At one point, we had five pets, but lost two last year. We loved them all, but five was too many.

One of the reasons that John and I decided to move out this way was because of the nearby lakes.  We enjoy being on the water, so having Lake Oconee nearby was great.  We also like music and sports.  He and I both pull for the Georgia Bulldogs, although I am an Arkansas Razorback fan at heart. 

What sparked your interest in health care/health care administration?

LP: When I was in my senior year of college, I connected with a person at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and interned there. I found that a hospital setting and the people who work there [were] really fascinating. After I watched people of all walks of life and backgrounds come together and work toward such a remarkable common goal, I really wanted to be a part of it. I came out of school and sought out a job in a hospital marketing department and that was how I got my start. 

But it really wasn’t until about a decade later, when I had to seek health care services for a family member that I really found my purpose and wanted to move into administration. I got married to my first husband in my early 30s.  Unfortunately, in the second year of our marriage he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and within a year, he was gone. That whole year of being in and out of hospitals was eye-opening. I had a really unique opportunity at a relatively young age to see how the health care system operated from a patient and caregiver perspective. We interacted with almost every type of physician, nurse, tech, lab, imaging centers, a home health agency, and finally, hospice.  I had so many observations and experienced so much emotion through that experience, but one that really surfaced was my desire to give back and wanting to work towards continuously improving the health care system.   I went into my leader’s office not long after my husband had died and told her that I wanted to make a difference and be a hospital CEO one day. That goal never changed.

What are you most passionate about in the healthcare industry?

LP: There are so many things that I enjoy about the healthcare industry that it is hard to pick just one. I think that I am most passionate about meeting the community’s needs when it comes to access to care. Going through my own personal experiences with caring for a cancer patient, I realized how important it was to have access to care close to home.  When my husband was most sick, he didn’t want to travel too far, walk too much or deal with a lot of hassle.  I think most everyone is that way when they aren’t feeling well.  We live near a really big city that has a lot of resources but also has a lot of traffic, so if we can increase access to care in our local community, I think most people want that. 

That leads into my second area of passion, which is ensuring that the patient experience we provide to every patient is exceptional. Hospitals and healthcare services are large operations and making sure we give every patient the personal attention they deserve is important. As we grow and improve access, making sure the service we provide to each person is positive is really important to me.

What have you enjoyed most about being the CEO at Piedmont Newton so far?

LP: The people at Piedmont Newton and in Covington are absolutely incredible. The hard-working team members at our hospital believe in the mission and believe that what they’re doing is making a difference in the lives of others. Everyone is committed to making Newton County and Covington a great place to live and work, both inside the hospital and those I have met in the community.  That’s really important and something I’ve really enjoyed since I got here.

What are some of your ideas/initiatives you plan to contribute to Piedmont Newton?

LP: Newton County has grown tremendously over the past year. Piedmont Newton will have to continue to grow to meet the needs of our community. We’ve worked hard to increase the number of providers in the area to serve a growing community.  We will continue to recruit new physicians to the area and increase access to care here locally. Services such as our medical oncology program are just scratching the surface of our potential at Piedmont Newton, so we will continue to take services like these and build upon them.  We have found that our community and patients are so appreciative of what we’ve done to serve them locally that we will continue to heavily focus efforts in the area over the next year.