Floyd Medical Center Straightforward

Floyd and Cherokee Are Better Together

Posted by Kurt Stuenkel, President and CEO
June 1, 2018

On June 1, 2018, Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Ala., became the newest member of the Floyd health care system.

For decades residents from Centre, Cedar Bluff, Gaylesville, Leesburg, Piedmont and Spring Garden have come to Floyd for health care services. Floyd also provides care on site in Cherokee County with services at Floyd Urgent Care in Centre. Floyd is committed to serving residents of Cherokee County.

Floyd has been working behind the scenes for several months to determine if collaborating with the Cherokee County Healthcare Authority to save Cherokee Medical Center was something we could consider. We know the 60-bed hospital is important to the health and vitality of the Cherokee County community. After much study, we agreed to work together and June 1st marks the first day of that new relationship. Effective this date, the Cherokee County Healthcare Authority purchased the hospital from the current owner, and then leased the entire operation to Floyd, through a newly created subsidiary, Floyd Cherokee Medical Center.

The recent closing of Jacksonville Medical Center makes this announcement even more timely. Access to health care in rural areas is a challenge throughout the nation. More and more smaller hospitals are closing. The new affiliation of Cherokee Medical Center and Floyd presents an opportunity for Floyd and Cherokee to work together to see if efficiencies and improvements can take Cherokee Medical Center to a new level. It is going to take hard work, and we need the commitment of not only the Floyd team, but of medical, community, civic leaders, and residents in Cherokee County. We will bring efficiencies, but we also must increase the volumes of patients who use Cherokee Medical Center.

We are pleased to announce this new partnership and will work diligently with the community to improve their hospital. Access to care, including an emergency room is important, as are the jobs for the local economy. Our hope is through working together that Cherokee Medical Center will not only continue, but thrive. We are going to give it our best effort, and we trust that the entire Cherokee County community will rally with us.

If Floyd had not stepped up to the plate, the availability of health care in Cherokee County, Alabama could have been very different. Rural hospitals throughout our country are in danger of closing. In some areas, families have to travel backroad miles and miles to receive care or visit loved ones. And, should a life-threatening emergency arise, care may be too far away to help.

Thankfully, that is not the case in Cherokee.

Floyd is putting together a strong plan to address the needs of Cherokee County citizens and visitors. Today, Floyd Cherokee Medical Center is open and backed by the comprehensive care available at Floyd Medical Center. Emergency care is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and critical services are available close to home when you need them.

Kurt Stuenkel

About Kurt

Kurt Stuenkel has served as President and CEO of Floyd since 1996. He leads a health care system that includes a 304-bed hospital with a level II trauma center and a level III NICU, a family medicine residency program; a 25-bed critical access hospital; a regional primary care network; urgent care centers; and a hospice program. As CEO, Kurt is faced with the many challenges that come with leading a multi-faceted organization that includes a safety net hospital.

He has written articles for, and is faculty with the American College of Healthcare Executives on the topic of Lean Six Sigma and the 120 day workout methodology, and he frequently hosts visitors who wish to learn about the implementation of these techniques.

Kurt has served as Chairman of the Georgia Hospital Association, the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, and VHA Georgia; as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Metropolitan Section and Regional Provider Board; and as a member of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission and the Georgia Health Strategies Council.

Under Kurt’s leadership, Floyd has won numerous state and national awards for supply chain, quality, public relations and programmatic excellence, with a focus on culture, performance, new programs and facilities.