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Rockdale Medical Center CEO to step down
COO Armstrong to become CEO
Deborah Armstrong

Deborah Armstrong to be named CEO effective Feb. 1. Click here for more information on Armstrong.

Rockdale Medical Center CEO Bryan Dearing is stepping down effective Feb. 1 as current Chief Operations Officer Deborah Armstrong becomes CEO on the same day.

Dearing is reportedly leaving RMC to "pursue leadership opportunities within LifePoint and other healthcare organizations," according to a statement released Friday afternoon. Dearing was brought on board as CEO in 2009 after the sale of RMC to LifePoint.

Armstrong, a Rockdale County resident for more than 18 years, has served as COO since 2007 and has been employed at RMC since 2001. She served as interim CEO of the 138-bed acute care hospital prior to Dearing.

"It’s been my professional goal to do this," Armstrong told the News on Friday. "I love this hospital. I love what we do. I think I can continue to lead it in a forward direction with quality care and efficient and effective services."

She said the change in position came up recently, but she pointed out it was not unusual to have different leadership during a transition phase.

"It’s not uncommon for someone to come in and lead you through that transition," she said. Now that the transition and adjustment phase is "behind us, we’re looking forward to providing excellent care in this community," she said. "We’ve got a lot of initiatives planned."

"During her tenure, Deborah has proven herself to be an outstanding leader on behalf of RMC and I believe she is the right person to lead the hospital in the future," said Jeff Seraphine, COO, Delta Division of LifePoint Hospitals.

Armstrong said the hospital will be posting for the position of COO.

In 2008 Armstrong became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has a BS in Physical Therapy from Georgia State University and received her Master of Science in Health Care Policy and Administration from Mercer University. Armstrong is also a graduate of the Conyers/Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2010 and is a member of the Rockdale County Rotary Club.

Armstrong was instrumental in the development of the Mercy Heart Health Clinic and serves on their Board as Vice President. She is also on the Advisory Board for the United Way of Rockdale County.

Armstrong is married and has two children.



(Jan. 14, 5:26 p.m.) Rockdale Medical Center CEO Bryan Dearing will reportedly step down effective Feb. 1. Current Chief Operation Officer Deborah Armstrong will become CEO effective Feb. 1.

Check back to for details on this developing story.