Conyers, Ga. — Piedmont Rockdale has named Blake Watts as its chief executive officer (CEO) effective immediately, the hospital announced Thursday. Watts joined Piedmont Rockdale (then Rockdale Medical Center) as executive director of operations in April 2016. He has most recently served as the hospital’s interim CEO.
“Blake has distinguished himself during his career as a successful healthcare executive and we are excited for him to serve as CEO of Piedmont Rockdale,” said Kevin Brown, President and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare.
Under Watts’ leadership, Piedmont Rockdale has undergone numerous facility upgrades and improvements with a focus on enhancing operational processes and creating service improvements in various departments. He has led numerous quality and growth initiatives including the expansion of various physician services on campus such as the new Piedmont Heart Institute and Piedmont Oncology practices. Most recently, he has served as the leader to obtain certificate of need (CON) approval for an upcoming facility expansion and renovation project.
“During his tenure at Piedmont Rockdale, Blake has demonstrated a strong commitment to Piedmont’s mission and values and has earned the trust and respect of people throughout the hospital,” said Michael Burnett, Chief Executive Officer for Piedmont Athens Regional, the system’s eastern hub. “His talent and experience make him an excellent choice to lead Piedmont Rockdale.”
Watts has nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare leadership having first served in administrator and executive officer roles in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps before joining the civilian sector at Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, Ga. as an operations manager. He has also served as Vice President of Physician and Professional Services at St. Mary’s Health System in Athens, senior director of operations for Piedmont Heart Institute, CEO of Barrow Regional Medical Center in Winder, and COO for Walton Regional Medical Center in Monroe.
“I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing our focus on quality, safety and service while growing Piedmont Rockdale’s services to meet the needs of the patients we serve,” said Watts.
Watts earned master’s degrees in administration and business administration from Georgia Southwestern University in Americus, Ga., and his undergraduate degree from Mercer University in Macon. He is board certified in healthcare administration and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.