Blount Memorial Hospital administrator Joseph Dawson announced Wednesday, May 26, that he will retire from the top post at Blount Memorial, effective Wednesday, June 30. Dawson has served as the hospital’s administrator since January 1985, and as assistant administrator for seven years prior to taking the administrator position.
“Retirement is something I’ve thought about off and on for several years, and I informed the hospital’s board of directors just over a year ago that I was seriously looking at this option,” Dawson says. “I wanted to ensure that they had enough time to transition the leadership of the hospital with no surprises to our employees, medical staff, volunteers, patients and the community.”
Board of directors president Robert Redwine commented on the announcement and said, “Joe has been a leader, starting with his early days in Blount County, continuing through today. He has been very unselfish with his time and his talents, which have made this hospital and community better places for all who live and work here.”
Redwine, on behalf of the nine-member board of directors, also announced that Blount Memorial’s current associate administrator and chief operating officer Don Heinemann has been named the hospital’s new administrator, effective Thursday, July 1.
“Don is not a new face to Blount Memorial or this community, having served as a member of the hospital’s executive team and in his current position for 25 years,” Redwine says, noting that Heinemann also was one of Dawson’s new hires when he first was named administrator in 1985. “This will be a good transition for this hospital, our patients and our community,” Redwine added.
Heinemann holds a bachelor of science degree in business from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and a master of science degree in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Heinemann, a Leadership Blount graduate and founding board member of A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, an affiliate of the Tennessee Hospital Association and board member of the Tennessee Hospital Association Subsidiary, Solutions Group.
Prior to joining the Blount Memorial leadership team, Heinemann was an administrative resident, administrative intern and evening administrator at Roanoke Memorial Hospital (Carillion Health System) in Roanoke, Va.
“Don is ready to assume the leadership of Blount Memorial, and it makes it easier for me to step down and enjoy my retirement knowing that this community’s hometown hospital, a place that has been so special to me and my family, is in good hands,” Dawson said.