AAMC Board Appoints Interim CEO

Abbeville Area Medical Center’s (AAMC) Board of Trustees has appointed Cindy Buck as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Buck will work closely with AAMC CEO Dean Turner, who has announced his plans to retire, and will begin her new role on July 27.

As Interim CEO, Buck will lead AAMC as it navigates a new operating landscape amid the COVID-19 pandemic and begins planning for the future. With more than two decades in hospital administration – including long-term and interim executive positions with health care organizations in North Carolina and across the Midwest – she brings a solid mix of experience and a fresh perspective to AAMC.

“This is an important moment for our hospital as we enter our second century of serving this community. While there’s no doubt we are facing new challenges as a result of these uncertain times, I’ve always believed that challenge and opportunity go hand in hand,” said Gene Pruitt, chairman of AAMC’s Board of Trustees.

“We remain grateful to Dean for his many contributions to AAMC and are delighted to welcome Cindy, who brings a reputation as a results-oriented, values-driven leader with a track record of improving operations while aligning employees and physicians around a shared vision for the future. Her leadership will be essential to our success as we begin this next chapter.”

As an executive with QHR Health, which has provided management and specialized consulting services to AAMC since 1993, Buck brings significant experience leading small community hospitals. She most recently served as Interim CEO of Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker, Colorado, where she led the hospital’s COVID-19 response, and Interim Chief Financial Officer for 25-bed Crawford Memorial Hospital in Robinson, Illinois. Previously, she was President and CEO of Rutherford Regional Health System in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, which includes a 143-bed medical center, 10 physician clinic and a large home health agency. Under her leadership, the system expanded services, recruited new physicians and earned repeated recognition for its quality outcomes.

Buck’s appointment coincides with the selection of Lucien St. Onge as the hospital’s new Chief Financial Officer. St. Onge is scheduled to begin his new role in August.

“I’m so pleased to join AAMC, especially at such an important time,” said Buck. “I’ve been impressed by the strong foundation the Board, Dean and the entire AAMC team have built, and I’m excited about the opportunity to develop a plan that positions the hospital for the future as we begin our 101st year of service. I appreciate the warm welcome and look forward to working alongside the many dedicated employees and physicians who make this hospital such a special place.”