New CEO of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Announced

BUCKEYE, WEST VIRGINIA, APRIL 29, 2021 – Pocahontas Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that it has selected Andrew Bair, MBA/HCM, BSN, RN, currently of Ellsworth, Kansas as its next Chief Executive Officer. Bair will replace current CEO Mary Beth Barr who will be retiring this summer.

Bair was selected from a nationwide search that began in January and included written, telephone, and on-site interviews. A Search Committee made up of board members and administrative leaders interviewed the top two candidates in person at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (PMH) in early March.

By a unanimous vote, Bair was selected by the Board of Trustees at its March meeting. Board Chair Janet Ghigo announced the decision to PMH staff saying, “After a week of consideration and prayer, the Search Committee presented a candidate to the Board, they approved, the candidate accepted, and Andrew Bair will become the next CEO of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. His experience and attitude made us all feel that he would fit into the culture of PMH; and he and his wife would enjoy living in Pocahontas County. The Board feels he will do well in continuing the projects started by Mary Beth to move the hospital forward in so many ways.”

Bair began his career in healthcare while still in high school. He got his start working a tray line-dish room job in the kitchen, also working as groundskeeper, transporter, and physical therapy aide. Bair has numerous experiences as a Registered Nurse, working fulltime in traumatic brain injury rehab, acute psychiatry, substance dependence rehabilitation, and emergency care. In 1997, Bair made his transition into healthcare administration and for the last 20 years has worked in roles of Chief Nursing Officer, Home Health Administrator, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of various organizations in Florida, Washington, and Oregon. Bair holds both a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Health Care Management and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Phoenix.

Bair’s most recent employment has been at Ellsworth County Medical Center, a rural Critical Access Hospital in Ellsworth, Kansas. While at Ellsworth, Bair has led the hospital to rate in the top decile for patient satisfaction performance rated by a feedback survey; established new services of Pain Management, Rheumatology, and Wound Clinics; was a consistent top quality performer within their 52 hospital Accountable Care Organization; and maintained a positive financial performance.

Bair describes himself as “leading from the heart.” He believes strongly that character, compassion, and courage are the ingredients of solid healthcare leadership. “Healthcare workers are remarkable individuals and teams that deal with human tragedy and vulnerability daily. These individuals and teams require leadership integrity, accountability, and empathy to lead them to their fullest potential,” he says.

Bair and his wife Robin believe strongly in community involvement, having belonged to Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary, and YMCA boards. The couple have already spent time in the area and will be making this their fulltime home. The Bairs have lived half their lives in country settings, preferring the intimacy and quieter pace of rural life above the urban lifestyle. Robin, having spent her childhood in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee says, “Pocahontas County feels like home.”

Mary Beth Barr, retiring CEO stated, “I am excited to have the opportunity to work a few days with Mr. Bair, welcome him to our PMH family, and assist him with this transition. His knowledge and experience of Critical Access Hospitals will provide our team with fresh perspectives. I sense he is very passionate about ensuring our history of compassionate and quality care. I feel certain he will continue to accelerate the excitement of the many on-going positive changes and provide opportunities for continued growth to sustain our mission, vision, and purpose.”

“We have spent much time in prayer over this important, life changing decision and feel we are being led to pursue this opportunity. I consider being selected as your next hospital CEO a high honor. I am excited to serve the communities of Pocahontas County and to help lead the healthcare team at PMH. I am eager to get there,” Bair says.