Higginbotham Announces Retirement from South Central Regional Medical Center
President & CEO
On Friday, February 24, 2023, Doug Higginbotham, President and Chief Executive Officer of South Central Regional Medical Center, officially announced his retirement from the organization. Higginbotham began his career in July 1988 as controller when the facility was known as Jones County Community Hospital. He has served as Chief Executive Officer for 30 years.
Higginbotham, originally from Port Arthur, Texas, graduated from Texas A&M University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Business Arts. He received his Certified Public Accountant licensure from the State of Texas in 1985. Following roles at BDO Seidman Accounting Firm (83-86) and St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (86-88), Doug and his family relocated to Laurel to begin his career at Jones County Community Hospital (now SCRMC). He also completed his Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1992.
On June 3, 1993, Higginbotham was appointed to serve as interim CEO by the South Central Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees. An executive recruiting firm was engaged to select candidates for the CEO position from throughout the region. After multiple interviews with those candidates, the Board unanimously agreed that based upon Higginbotham’s proven leadership ability while serving as interim, he would be the best choice to lead the health system. On August 27, 1993, Higginbotham was named CEO.
“The organization is far more complex than it was 30 years ago with increased regulations, new payment models, and increased competition,” stated Higginbotham. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together. We have adapted to these changes in the past and the new leader will as well. With the help of many – Board of Trustees, Medical Staff, Vice Presidents, Directors, front-line staff, etc. – I have tried to guide and direct the health system down the right path. Many times the right path was not always clear, but I did the best I could. In the last 30 years, I feel we, collectively, have made a positive impact on our community.”
Higginbotham announced to the Board of Trustees and staff of SCRMC, that after considerable discussion with his family, he is retiring from the workforce effective May 24, 2023. “After having South Central as an integral part of my life for 30 years, this decision was not made lightly, but I am convinced it is the right decision,” said Higginbotham.
The Board of Trustees will engage a recruitment firm to help with the selection of a new President and CEO for South Central. They will have the opportunity to select from many very talented men and women in our field.
Higginbotham reiterated to staff that as the selection process is undertaken, they should expect everything to be business as usual. “I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead this organization and to have worked with so many dedicated professionals. Thank you all for the work you have done and will continue to do.”