By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Interim COO named as Northeast Georgia Health System seeks replacement for Gainesville hospital president
10022019 NGHS 1.jpg
Michael Covert

The Northeast Georgia Health System has named a new interim chief operating officer following the departure of one of the health system’s leaders.

Michael Covert, who has previously served as president and CEO of four other health systems, will be joining NGHS as interim chief operations officer. Louis Smith, who joined NGHS in 2015 as president of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville and acute and post-acute services for the health system, had his last day with NGHS on Friday, Sept. 27.

“(Smith) played an integral role in our work to save hospital services in Lumpkin County by creating NGMC Lumpkin; re-energized our partnership discussions with Habersham Medical Center to stabilize care in the northern part of our service area; made significant progress on NGMC Gainesville’s long-range facility planning; and much more,” Carol Burrell, president and CEO of NGHS, said in a statement. “He was a great advocate for healthcare in our community, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

NGHS will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent chief operations officer.

“I look forward to Michael integrating his knowledge and leadership into our operations,” Burrell said.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Covert has served as president and CEO of CHI St. Luke’s Health in Houston, Palomar Health in California, MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C., and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Florida. 

Regional events