Joe B. Riley, President and CEO, Jackson Hospital
Citizen of the Year – Healthcare
By Lori Quiller
Photography by George Pudzis
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Joe Riley, is only the fourth person to take over as president and CEO of Jackson Hospital in its 70-year history.
“The medical community in the River Region is by far the best I have ever had the privilege to work with,” Riley said. “We have excellent physicians who offer a wide range of primary and specialty care, and hospital and clinics with highly-trained staff and advanced technology.”
Riley, who’s a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, said the health issues facing residents of the River Region are not unlike those facing any other areas of the state or the country. With an aging population comes a need for more health care providers qualified to provide advanced, team-based medical services.
“We will also continue to need additional physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists to meet our growing demands,” Riley explained. “While our recruitment efforts have been very successful, including bringing more than 40 physicians to the region over the past four years, there is a limited supply of professionals available. Each year, to help meet this demand Jackson expanded our medical school campus in 2014, working with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan to provide training for nearly 20 third- and fourth-year medical students. We have also created a nursing residency program that helps new nurses transition from school to clinical practice, offering additional training and support as they start their careers.”
In 2016, Jackson Hospital celebrated its 70th anniversary, and Riley and his staff dedicated the year to honoring the hospital’s founder, Dr. Frank Jackson, and his legacy of care in the River Region. According to Riley, Jackson Hospital has invested more than $25 million in the area over the past four years in upgraded equipment, facilities and technology to improve patient care. This year, the community showed their support by gifting the hospital with a $3 million renovation of the Family Birth Center made possible through donations to the Jackson Hospital Foundation.
Carrying on the tradition of an organization established by physicians, Jackson Hospital created the area’s largest multi-specialty physician group, The Jackson Clinic, which marked a decade of service to the community in 2016. The Jackson Clinic now comprises 35 providers in 11 medical specialties, and with a single electronic health record, patients’ care is coordinated seamlessly throughout the network no matter what services they may need. Riley estimated that nearly 100,000 patient visits will be made this year across locations in Montgomery, Prattville and Pike Road.
“To continue to build for our future, it is imperative that our community partnership is strong. Our mission as a not-for-profit organization is to improve the health of all members of our community by providing superior, patient-centered and cost-effective care in a safe, compassionate environment. We strive to accomplish this in all areas – whether you receive care as an inpatient, an outpatient, or in one of The Jackson Clinic locations. Our team of professionals has participated in nearly 400 community events and educational seminars in 2016. Touching lives and changing them for the better each day!” Riley said.