MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Darren Pearce has stepped down from his position as chief executive officer at Navicent Health Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville, The Union-Recorder has learned.
Pearce had only held the position since Nov. 2, when it was announced that he would lead the local hospital under the institution’s new owners, Navicent Health System Inc., of Macon.
His resignation was confirmed through an email Tuesday morning from an official with Navicent Health.
“Darren Pearce has resigned his employment with Navicent Health because of personal issues that require his full attention,” according to a statement issued by Gina Keadle, chief of human resources and talent officer at Navicent Health. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Nothing else was disclosed about his departure or the measures now underway to select a new CEO.
Pearce was chosen to lead Navicent Health Baldwin through a national search launched by Navicent Health to find just the right person to lead the medical institution in Milledgeville.
“As we went through the process, it was plain to see the person for the job was right here among us,” Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, president and chief executive officer of Navicent Health, said at the time. “Darren has a heart for rural health care and a proven track record for establishing rural and critical access hospitals. We are thrilled that he has accepted the position of CEO for Navicent Health Baldwin and look forward to bright days for this hospital under his leadership.”
In addition to having served as CEO of Navicent Health Baldwin, Pearce, a Florida native, and Navy veteran, also served as senior vice president of Rural Health Network, Navicent Health.
Pearce was lauded for being instrumental in building and strengthening other rural and critical access hospitals within the Navicent Health System, including the Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health and Monroe County Hospital, Navicent Health Partner.
When he served as CEO of the local hospital, Pearce also oversaw operations at those two hospitals.
On the day that Pearce, who began his medical career as a surfical/neurological intensive care nurse, took over as CEO of the local hospital, he talked about its future.
“There is a lot of potential for Navicent Health Baldwin; room for growth and expanded services that will benefit Baldwin County, as well as the surrounding region,” Pearce said last November. “We have great plans for this hospital that include the expansion of services and the recruitment of new physicians to the area.”
Less than two weeks after he became the new CEO, Pearce also addressed members of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce about the future of Navicent Health Baldwin.
The chamber event, known as Eggs & Issues, drew the following comments from Pearce:
“Considering what this hospital system has been going through for the last three years, it’s amazing the culture that was there in the hospital. They were welcoming; they wanted to be successful, and they were all in. They were just waiting for somebody to come in and lead them.”