Jeff Barnhart is stepping down as CEO of Deaf Smith County Hospital District after seven years characterized by numerous expansions and improvements to the hospital’s operations.
In addition to the expansion of services like wound care and the employee wellness program, WorkSmart, Barnhart also oversaw the launch of the community paramedicine program that combines EMS, outpatient, and social work services to bring post-hospitalization care directly to the community wherever it is needed.
“I’m extremely proud of the work our team has done to advance care for the people of Hereford,” said Barnhart. “I have no doubt that great work will continue, and I look forward to seeing what the future of care looks like for this region.”
From expanding the outpatient clinic’s hours to the introduction of podiatry services to a surgery partnership with the Texas Tech Health Science Center, Barnhart consistently found new ways for the hospital to deliver excellent care for the Hereford region. These efforts resulted in a region-low readmission rate in 2022.
Barnhart received multiple accolades during his tenure for his exceptional leadership capabilities, including the 2022 Pioneer Award from the Texas Hospital Association. The award recognized his innovative rural hospital leadership and the creative ways he enhanced care across multiple areas of the hospital and clinic.
“The impact Jeff has had on this hospital and our community cannot be overstated,” said Candice Smith, MSN, CCRN, chief nursing officer, Hereford Regional Medical Center. “He guided us through difficult times, offered unwavering support for the staff, and constantly advanced our mission to provide excellent care for all of Hereford.”
Smith will step into a new role as interim CEO on August 4, bringing her decades of clinical experience and passion for the community to the role after working closely with Barnhart throughout his tenure.
“I’m confident that Candice is the right person for this job,” said Barnhart. “Her experience and commitment to the hospital staff and community members speaks for itself. I know that I’m leaving Hereford Regional Medical Center in good hands.”