The new chief executive officer at Capital Regional Medical Center is no stranger to Tallahassee. Alan Keesee was second-in-command at the local hospital before doing the same job at a sister HCA facility in Las Vegas over the past couple of years.
Now Keesee said he’s happy to be back in town and at Capital Regional.
“I was in Tallahassee from 2013-2015, so I have some perspective, although some things have changed,” he said.
One change is the overall growth in the community during those few short years. And Keesee said that means he’ll be hiring more staff at the hospital.
“(We’re) already recruiting a couple of cardiologists and primary care physicians and general surgeons and others and I think that’ll be a benefit to the community as well as the hospital over time.”
An even bigger challenge is the present shortage of qualified nurses. So Keesee explained his hospital is trying to fill that need by taking on some of the training itself.
“One is called the ‘Star RN’ program, which is essentially an accelerated development cohort of newly-licensed RNs that get didactic and on-the-job training in their specific areas that they might focus on within the hospital, so for example emergency room, labor and delivery, medical/surgical floors, and we’ve seen better retention of nurses that go through that program.”
While at the same time he’ll be working to get more nurses into the hiring pipeline.
“We have great partnerships with TCC, FAMU and FSU and we recently increased our scholarship for TCC nursing students up to $8,000 over the course of their tenure there and we also just announced a $15,000 sign-on bonus for nurses who are relocating and join the community.”
Meanwhile, Keesee added the physical footprint of Capital Regional Medical Center keeps growing. “I’m excited to pick up the torch relative to two new access points for free-standing ERs off North Monroe and I-10 and then one down in Southwood.”
Keesee said all of this is to meet the region’s relentless need for ever more healthcare services.
“We treated over 150,000 patients last year between our various access points and that continues to grow. We had all-time highs due to the flu epidemic I’ll call it this past winter season in our emergency departments in Gadsden County and here in Tallahassee and I think medical demand continues to grow, so there will be a multitude of access points within the ERs, primary care clinics (like) the ones in Chattahoochee, down in Crawfordville and other locations and there just continues to be more demand than there are resources at the moment.”
And from a purely personal perspective, Keesee said it feels like a comfortable homecoming.
“It’s great to be back in Tallahassee. My wife and children will be here soon. I’ve been a bachelor for a week and not sure I like it. I’m excited to be here with the team and the hospital and to be integrated back into the community.”
The return of Alan Keesee, now the chief executive officer at Capital Regional Medical Center.