Cape Girardeau hospital hires new CEO - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau hospital hires new CEO

Kenneth Bateman was named as the new president, CEO of SoutheastHEALTH. (Source: Southeast Hospital) Kenneth Bateman was named as the new president, CEO of SoutheastHEALTH. (Source: Southeast Hospital)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A new president and CEO for SoutheastHEALTH was appointed on Monday, Dec. 15.

Kenneth W. Bateman, CPA, MHA was appointed, effective on Dec. 15.

The announcement comes at a time when the hospital is facing financial challenges and adapting to the changing healthcare industry.

Bateman says one of his first orders of business will be to meet with employees and figure out their concerns, then move the entire team forward together. Bateman didn't sugar coat the financial struggles they've had in recent years.

"The hospital has lost money in the past, 2013 was a loss, 2014 will probably be a loss. They had a rough computer conversion a little while back and that created some billing issues for them that they're working through," Bateman said. "Nobody is going to save your hospital. We have to do it together."

Bateman says he's not sure if these challenges could lead to staffing or benefit cuts, but he's confident SoutheastHEALTH can return to profitability by the end of 2015.

John Thompson, chairman of the System Board, announced the hiring in the Harrison Room at Southeast Hospital. The board unanimously approved the hiring.

"Kenneth's visionary leadership will greatly benefit SoutheastHEALTH as we welcome an experienced and committed business strategist whose combined skill set provides a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities of navigating healthcare reform," Thompson said.

Before joining SoutheastHEALTH, Bateman served as chief operating officer at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., and before his CEO tenure, he served as CFO at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville. He's spent his career in healthcare leadership and financial executive roles with various for-profit organizations and not-for-profit hospitals and systems.

Bateman and his wife Pamela will live in the Cape Girardeau area. They have one son, Eric, who attends Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., where he is studying business.

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