Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers to retire; new leader announced

Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers

He has held the job since 2006

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 9:49 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 1:21 PM

Huntsville Hospital Health System announced Tuesday that David Spillers, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital system since 2006 plans to retire in July 2021.

Upon Spillers’ retirement, Jeff Samz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Health System, will become CEO, according to the hospital system’s news release.

Here's the complete news release:

Huntsville Hospital Health System has announced that David Spillers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the multi-hospital system since 2006, has informed the organization that he will retire in July 2021.

Spillers has led the Health System to “unparalleled growth and success,” said Philip Bentley, chairman of the Health Care Authority governing board.

Upon Spillers’ retirement, Jeff Samz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Health System, will become CEO, said Bentley.

“It has been a great ride but it’s time to do some things that I have not taken the time to do while working.” said Spillers.

“I have been privileged over the past 33 years to work in healthcare during a period of incredible changes and challenges. None have been bigger than the pandemic that we face today. Our team has performed incredibly well and I am confident that we will ultimately win this battle. We’ve served our community for 125 years but there is more work to be done. I am also blessed to work with what I consider to be the best leadership team and the best board that any health system could have. I can step away knowing that what we have built here will continue to thrive and grow.”

Spillers said that he would remain in Huntsville after retiring.

“Cindy and I love Huntsville. It’s our home now. Running a system like ours consumes most of your time. I look forward to having more time to do the things I have put off for many years.”

Bentley said that Spillers would continue to serve the organization as a consultant to the hospital system following his retirement.

Both men are excited to have Samz take over as CEO. Samz joined Huntsville Hospital in 2009 as COO. He and Spillers previously worked together in Asheville, North Carolina.

“You can’t find a more qualified person to be the next CEO of this system,” said Spillers. “I am happy for the organization and for Jeff that he will succeed me.”

Major achievements of Spillers’ 15-year tenure in Huntsville include the opening of Madison Hospital in 2012; and the rapid development of HH Health System which is now comprised of hospitals in Athens, Decatur, Sheffield, Red Bay, Boaz, and Guntersville, along with affiliate relationships with other hospitals in the Tennessee Valley.

Total employment of the Health System exceeds 15,000, making the organization among the top five largest publicly-owned health systems in the nation.

New technologies, services, and facilities have been completed across the region under Spillers’ leadership, including massive renovations in Decatur and new construction in Athens.

In Huntsville, a seven-story, $175 million Orthopedic & Spine Tower is scheduled for completion this summer.

Even with the growth, Bentley said that “David’s leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic may be his greatest accomplishment. Few leaders could do what he has done as our hospitals have responded to the crisis,” said Bentley.

“David has always kept our team focused on quality, safety and service. Our patients are getting outstanding care in all of our facilities. We will be forever grateful for his contributions.”

Bentley echoed Spillers’ comments about Samz, saying, “We have the utmost confidence in Jeff. He is well prepared to lead our organization. We know him and trust that under his leadership we will continue to excel.”

Samz’s career in hospital administration has spanned 28 years, including the past twelve in Huntsville.

Prior to coming here, he worked at Vanderbilt Health, Duke Health and at Mission Health in Asheville, North Carolina.

In Huntsville, he is responsible for operations at all System hospitals, physician practices, and outpatient locations. Samz has played an integral role in the development of the HH Health System, as well as acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures of the organization.

In the community, Samz currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Secretary-Treasurer of U.S. Space and Rocket Center Foundation Board.

He is a former member of the United Way board of directors. Samz is a Morehead Scholar and 1992 graduate of the University of North Carolina. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University in 1999.

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