Special to WEIS Radio
The Cherokee County Health Care Authority and County Commission honored one of the key leaders in the effort to save the county’s hospital as they recognized Floyd Cherokee Administrator David Early, who is leaving to pursue other projects.
“We want to thank you for a tremendous job over the past four years,” HCA Chairman Eric Ellis said during this week’s meeting of the health care group. “It goes without saying, David, had it not been for you, we would not have a hospital today. That’s a fact. We thank you for your diligence and your efforts.”
The HCA presented Early with a plaque in the shape of Alabama and recognized him “for his extraordinary commitment and service to the health care community.”
The HCA also praised Early for improving the lives of the people of Cherokee County by providing life-saving medical providers and facilities.
In 2018, with the medical center’s future in jeopardy, the HCA bought the local hospital and negotiated with Floyd to take over daily operations of the facility. Early became Cherokee County’s go-to person as the medical center made its transition into the Floyd Healthcare System. In 2019, he was appointed administrator of Floyd Cherokee and led the once financially struggling hospital in an impressive turnaround that is rare with rural hospitals.
County Chairman Tim Burgess presented Early with a resolution passed by the County Commission outlining many of his accomplishments, which included eliminating annual losses of more than $1 million at the medical center, renovating the hospital’s emergency room, expanding cardiac care services and securing federal Covid relief funds to ensure hospital operations continued uninterrupted.
Burgess said Early has been a friend to Cherokee County.
“He has helped improve and expand health care services for residents of Cherokee County and surrounding areas,” Burgess said. “I’ve always considered David a great friend, and he is a man of integrity.”
Last year, Floyd merged with North Carolina-based Atrium Health to become Atrium Health Floyd, and the HCA negotiated to extend its management contract with the health care company for another five years.