Carolinas HealthCare System welcomes Eugene A. Woods, MBA, MHA, FACHE, as its incoming president and chief executive officer following a unanimous vote from the System’s Board of Commissioners on Feb. 11. Woods is currently the president and chief operating officer of CHRISTUS Health in Irving, Texas, and will join the System in May. In June 2015, current President and CEO Michael Tarwater announced his retirement. He will remain at Carolinas HealthCare System until June 30 to ensure a seamless transition.
"I am honored to be joining Carolinas HealthCare System," Woods said. "This is one of the most comprehensive and highly integrated healthcare systems in the nation, combining extraordinary care with an unwavering commitment to the region. This is a remarkable time in the history of this organization, thanks to the leadership of Michael Tarwater and all my new teammates. I just can’t express how excited I am to get started."
Woods was introduced by Edward J. Brown III, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Carolinas HealthCare System, at a press conference following the Board’s vote. Brown said Woods "rose to the top" following a lengthy and comprehensive national search.
"As we took a look at who is going to fill the shoes of Mike Tarwater and who is going to lead us as we continue the journey of providing the best care to our patients and communities, we had to find the right servant-leader and someone who would engage and listen to 60,000 teammates," Brown said. "It was stunning to see the quality of candidates that came forth and as we evaluated candidates, it became clear that Gene was the right person to lead this organization into the future."
With more than 24 years of healthcare leadership, Woods was recently elected to become the next chairman of the American Hospital Association and will assume that role in 2017. In his current role at CHRISTUS Health – which has more than 50 hospitals and long-term facilities and 175 clinics and outpatient centers – Woods is responsible for acute, post-acute and international operations for facilities in the United States, Mexico and Chile.
Prior to that, Woods worked at Catholic Health Initiatives, where he was CEO of the eight-hospital Saint Joseph Health System and the senior vice president responsible for implementation of national initiatives for the organization, which operates across 18 states.
"The process of getting to know an organization of the size and complexity of Carolinas HealthCare System is a formidable task, but it’s a task Gene has prepared for his whole career, and I have absolutely no doubt that he will be hugely successful," Tarwater said.