FMH Names New CEO

Suzanne Doscher

Suzanne Doscher

WINNSBORO – Members of the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Board of Directors confirmed last week the selection of Suzanne Doscher, 54, as their next Chief Executive Officer. Doscher replaces Mike Williams on Sept. 1. Williams, who has served as CEO for the last seven and a half years, announced his retirement late last May.

Board member Boyd Brown, who served on the search committee, said Doscher was selected from a list of four finalists culled from nine initial candidates.

“I think we made a great hire,” Brown said. “She’s an experienced administrator from Georgetown Hospital who understands administration, who understands policies and who has a relationship with healthcare professionals across the state. She came to us highly recommended by the S.C. Hospital Association.”

Doscher has served the Georgetown Hospital System since 2001, rising from Assistant Administrator to Vice President of Operations. During her tenure there, she has been responsible for $330 million in revenue and 175 full-time employees. She also established a Research Affiliation Agreement between the hospital and the Medical University of S.C. (MUSC).

Doscher was selected over three other finalists, each of whom had current or former ties to Fairfield Memorial Hospital (FMH). Those three were: Dr. Shane Mull, head of the Emergency Room at FMH; Karen Reynolds, Health Information Manager at FMH; and Brent Lammers, CEO at Alleghany Memorial Hospital in Sparta, N.C. since January 2014, but a former administrator at FMH in the 1990s.

Brown said Doscher’s lack of Fairfield ties made her an attractive candidate.

“She comes into her role without any connections to Fairfield County, which I think is good,” Brown said. “It’s a new set of eyeballs. She knows nothing about county politics or any of the local cliques. She is going to be strictly healthcare oriented.”

Born in Virginia but raised in Missouri, Doscher came to S.C. after graduating high school in 1979 to attend the College of Charleston and has remained in the state ever since. She earned her BA in chemistry from the C of C in 1983 and a BS in medical technology from MUSC in Charleston in 1985. In 1996, she earned her Master’s in healthcare administration, also from MUSC.

Doscher began her work in the healthcare field as a Medical Technologist at Charleston Memorial Hospital in 1985 and over the ensuing 10 years worked her way up the ladder at an assortment of Charleston area hospitals. In 1996, she took the position of Administrative Resident at Newberry County Memorial Hospital, eventually rising to Vice President for Support Services in 1999.

Doscher said she was attracted to the position by Fairfield Memorial’s size and the surrounding small-town atmosphere.

“I’m a ‘small-hospital girl’,” Doscher said. “I was at Newberry County for five years and I like the smaller hospitals. I like the small towns where you know everybody and everybody knows you.”

Doscher will take the reins of a hospital that has struggled financially in recent years, obtaining emergency loans from the County just to meet payroll and falling behind on its contributions to the state Retirement System. Over the last year and a half, FMH has been in partnership negotiations with a Richland County hospital, a process Doscher said she thinks she can move forward.

Doscher will receive a salary of $130,000.

Phone calls to John McGraw, Chairman of the Board of Directors, were not returned at press time.