Russell Medical Center Board of Directors Ralph Frohsin, Scott Howell, Hugh Neighbors, III and Jim Nabors pose with James W. (Bill) Brown, center, Alabama Hospital Association Trustee of the Year. | Submitted

Archived Story

Brown named trustee of the year

Published 9:23am Saturday, February 16, 2013

Former Russell Medical Center CEO and current trustee James W. “Bill” Brown was recently honored by the Alabama Hospital Association as its 2013 Trustee of the Year.

Brown was one of two trustees selected for the award, which is given to recognize exemplary service to hospitals, their patients and their communities.

“Bill Brown is part of the fabric of this state’s hospital system,” said Mike Horsley, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.  “Not only was he the CEO of Russell Medical Center for 41 years, but he agreed to continue his service after retirement as a board member. He has also been extremely active in the Alabama Hospital Association and, in all, has dedicated 60 years of his life to ensure access to quality health care for all Alabamians, particularly those in east central Alabama.”

Brown became the administrator of Russell Hospital in 1953 and grew it from a small department of Russell Mills to a state-of-the-art facility. After stepping down as administrator in 1994, he became chairman of the board of directors and held that role through 2007.  During his tenure as chairman he led the organization successfully through many changes and additions.

His contributions go beyond Alexander City –Brown played a major role in creating the Alabama Hospital Association Trust, an insurance company that provided much needed liability insurance for hospitals at a time when other carriers were leaving the state.  He served as chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association and was later awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal of Excellence.  He also served as chairman of the Southeastern Hospital Association and as a member of the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association.

Jim Peace, president and CEO of Russell Medical Center, said Brown’s foresight and leadership played a major role in the growth of RMC as a hospital.

“Throughout his career, Mr. Brown has been a visionary who saw beyond the limits of rural Alabama and strived to bring his community the absolute best in healthcare,” Peace said. “He saw the value of providing specialty care to his patients and was one of the first rural executives to actively recruit specialty physicians such as obstetricians, surgeons, oncology and rheumatology.

“His active involvement in the healthcare arena at the state, regional and national levels provided access to the latest innovations and interaction with other healthcare leaders that resulted in Russell Medical Center becoming one of the leaders in healthcare in our state.”

Brown has received many prestigious awards, including Alexander’s City Man of the Year, The Alabama Hospital Association Gold Medal of Excellence Award and the Silver Star of Valor, which he earned in 1945 during his service in World War II.

He has served the local Alexander City community in a number of ways, including active participation in the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, his local church and the Benjamin and Roberta Russell Foundation.

His contributions go beyond Alexander City – Brown played a major role in creating the Alabama Hospital Association Trust, an insurance company that provided much needed liability insurance for hospitals at a time when other carriers were leaving the state.  He served as chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association and was later awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal of Excellence.  He also served as chairman of the Southeastern Hospital Association and as a member of the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association.

Jim Peace, president and CEO of Russell Medical Center, said Brown’s foresight and leadership played a major role in the growth of RMC as a hospital.

“Throughout his career, Mr. Brown has been a visionary who saw beyond the limits of rural Alabama and strived to bring his community the absolute best in healthcare,” Peace said. “He saw the value of providing specialty care to his patients and was one of the first rural executives to actively recruit specialty physicians such as obstetricians, surgeons, oncology and rheumatology.

“His active involvement in the healthcare arena at the state, regional and national levels provided access to the latest innovations and interaction with other healthcare leaders that resulted in Russell Medical Center becoming one of the leaders in healthcare in our state.”

Brown has received many prestigious awards, including Alexander’s City Man of the Year, The Alabama Hospital Association Gold Medal of Excellence Award and the Silver Star of Valor, which he earned in 1945 during his service in World War II.

He has served the local Alexander City community in a number of ways, including active participation in the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, his local church and the Benjamin and Roberta Russell Foundation.

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