Hospital CEO recognized for leadership

Bob Letson, CEO of South Peninsula Hospital, has been named in the inaugural list of  “50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review, SPH announced in a recent press release. According to the publication, these 50 presidents and CEOs have shown commitment to providing high quality, accessible care to their patient populations and have approached the challenge of rural healthcare with great aplomb. 

The honor comes as no surprise to members of the hospital’s board of directors. 

“Bob works tirelessly to add services, improve operations and maintain quality staff at South Peninsula Hospital. He is a leader we can all be proud to have in our community” said Tom Clark, board president.

Letson became the hospital’s chief administrator in March 2008, bringing with him more than 21 years of success in not-for-profit hospital management and 13 years with for-profit hospitals. 

In his six years at SPH, he has increased specialty services, added primary care with the merger of Homer Medical Center, improved revenue and positioned the organization to successfully adapt to the anticipated changes of health care reform. 

Under Letson’s leadership SPH has twice been named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital out of 1,300 eligible hospitals based on quality, patient perspective, affordability, market strength and other performance indicators. He has recruited medical and allied practitioners, such as a new general surgeon, VA physician, OB/GYN, cardiologist, diabetes specialist, orthopedic surgeon, asthma specialist, pulmonologist, oncologist and CRNAs. He opened a sleep center, infusion-oncology clinic and a pediatric therapy services department. 

Letson is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is board certified in healthcare management. He serves on the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association’s board or directors and chairs the association’s Workforce Development Committee. He serves as Alaska’s alternate delegate to the American Hospital Association (AHA) Governance Board. 

Last year Letson received the Grass Roots Champion Award from AHA for his leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of the hospital’s mission.

For consideration on Becker’s Hospital Review top 50 list, “rural” was defined as being located outside a major metropolitan area or healthcare hub. 

Leaders were selected based on a number of factors, including local, regional and national leadership positions held, their organization’s recent performance, and awards received. Becker’s Hospital Review is a source of business and legal information for healthcare leaders and publishes four industry-leading trade publications, as well as numerous other resources for industry leaders.