COVINGTON, Ga. — Piedmont Newton Hospital's chief medical officer is leading the facility's operations on an interim basis as the health care company seeks a permanent replacement for David Kent — who left after almost three years recently to lead Piedmont's Henry County hospital.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Norris Little, M.D., is serving as interim CEO after Kent began his new role at the Stockbridge hospital on Jan. 9, a Piedmont spokesperson said.
Kent served as CEO of Piedmont Newton since April 2020 and "played an integral role in improving patient experience scores at the hospital," according a a news release from Piedmont.
“David has been a welcome addition to the Piedmont leadership team,” said Dr. Patrick Battey, M.D., chief executive officer of Piedmont Atlanta. “He will definitely make a positive difference at Piedmont Henry as we continue to grow and serve this community.”
Among his accomplishments, Kent led the Covington hospital through the height of the COVID crisis and oversaw construction and expansion of a new oncology space buildout.
Apart from Piedmont, Kent served as Newton Chamber of Commerce board chairman in 2022.
Kent now oversees a much larger hospital and staff at Piedmont Henry with 1,750 employees and over 750 physicians.
With 259 beds, Piedmont Henry also is among the larger hospitals in the Piedmont system. The hospital also has one of the busiest emergency departments in the system, exceeded only by Piedmont Columbus-Midtown, which is a Level II Trauma Center, a news release stated.
Piedmont Newton has 650 employees and a medical staff of over 475 physicians, according to information from Piedmont. It is a 103-bed, acute-care hospital offering a 24-hour ER, women’s services, a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and general medical/surgical services.
Prior to joining Piedmont, Kent worked for CTCA Health as senior vice president of Business Development. He had also served as COO and CEO of Southeastern Regional Medical Center with responsibilities ranging from physician relations, operational planning, business development and political affairs.
“The staff at Piedmont Henry has a reputation for outstanding teamwork and collaboration and providing excellent care,” said Kent. “I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of this team and I look forward to all that we can accomplish together.”
Little has worked as Piedmont Newton's’s chief medical officer since 2016 — a year after Piedmont Health Systems acquired the former Newton Medical Center. He served as a private care physician and as hospital chief of staff in Newton County for decades before working for Piedmont.