New leadership at Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville

single-meta-cal August 9, 2022

For the first time in 15 years, Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville has a new leader at the helm.

Matthew Banks, a registered nurse and Birmingham native, stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Crestwood on July 18. Banks previously served as CEO of Merit Health Wesley, a 211-bed, acute care facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

He replaces Dr. Pam Hudson, whose tenure as CEO began in 2007. Before she was CEO of the full service, acute care hospital, Dr. Hudson served as Crestwood’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and was an emergency room physician for several years.

As he eases into the role of Crestwood’s CEO, Banks is working closely with Dr. Hudson, who is in a new executive position focusing on physician initiatives at the 180-bed hospital.

I am thankful she will continue to be a member of our team,” Banks said. “She will help us keep up with the growth of Huntsville and meet the needs of our community.”

Prior experience

Before Merit Health Wesley, Banks was CEO at Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, North Carolina; Chief Operating Officer at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, North Carolina; and Chief Operating/Nursing Officer and interim CEO at Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston.

Banks holds his Bachelor of Science in nursing, Bachelor of Science in psychology and Master of Science in nursing with a concentration in health services administration from The University of Alabama in Birmingham. He also earned an associate degree in nursing from Troy University.

With exceptional leadership skills and experience in hospital management, Banks said he is humbled to join the Crestwood team given his history in the medical field.

“The week I turned 18, I was working as an orderly in an emergency department,” he said. “I went to nursing school and grew up to be a Chief Nursing Officer, then bridged into the CEO role about eight years ago.”

Hospital growth

During her time as Crestwood’s CEO, Dr. Hudson oversaw tremendous growth at the hospital.

Some of Crestwood’s milestones include:

  • A new 60-bed patient tower addition
  • A 17-bed emergency department expansion
  • The recruitment of 80 primary and key specialty care physicians
  • The addition of 10 primary care clinics across the community
  • An all-private room, 10-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Outpatient services in Madison and northern Madison County

With 1,200 employees and a total annual payroll of $83.6 million, Crestwood invested $12.2 million in capital projects in 2021. The hospital is also a good community partner, contributing $14.2 million in property and sales taxes and $137.7 million in charity and uncompensated are for the uninsured and underinsured in Crestwood’s service area.

Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, Dr. Hudson said Crestwood weathered the storm well.

“COVID put everybody through their paces, but that’s exactly where hospitals needed to be,” she said. “Leading the charge to get our community through that.”

Looking ahead

Crestwood recruits 10-15 new physicians each year. To address Huntsville’s growing population needs, Dr. Hudson will be working closely with established doctors, developing candidates and new physicians that are just getting their practices off the ground.

In April 2020, Karen Stephens, an RN at Crestwood Medical Center, helped a COVID-19 patient FaceTime her husband, who also had COVID and was in a different hospital. Through an iPad screen, the couple shared smiles, tears, and the words, “I love you.”

The pandemic has accelerated a change in health care, which has no doubt affected Huntsville.

“There are many things we are experiencing now that probably would have taken 5-10 years to blend into the landscape of health care before COVID,” Dr. Hudson said. “It’s a challenge, especially for our independent physicians who are running businesses, paying taxes and supporting their staff.

“We are trying to be a great partner with them as we move forward with trying to keep up with the growth in the community by expanding services and forging new opportunities in collaboration with our physicians.”

With his experience, Banks is grateful to help write Crestwood’s next chapter and have Dr. Hudson as an ally and colleague.

“Having us both here really accelerates our opportunities because Huntsville and the regional area are growing by leaps and bounds,” he said. “I always look inward to make sure the level of care we’re providing at the hospital is second to none. Through Dr. Hudson’s leadership, the foundation here at the hospital and what we’ve been able to accomplish is very strong.”