Hospital appoints new CEO

SNELLVILLE - Emory Eastside Medical center has a new chief operating officer, hospital officials announced Monday.

Kimberly Ryan officially took on the position at the hospital Monday and replaces former CEO Les Beard, who announced his retirement in December.

Ryan began her career as a nurse and brings more than 29 years of health care experience to the Snellville-based medical center, hospital spokeswoman Sheila Adcock said.

The hospital administration veteran served as principal chief operating officer at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans prior to her move to Emory Eastside.

While at Tulane, Ryan safely evacuated 178 patients and 1,100 patient family members, physicians, employees and their families following Hurricane Katrina.

With Ryan's leadership, the downtown New Orleans campus was rebuilt, allowing for the return of patient care in the community.

Ryan was not available for comment Monday.

"Kim brings to this new role a proven track record of strong operational management skills and certainly, given her experience with Hurricane Katrina, a demonstrated ability to work effectively in the most complex circumstances," said Larry Kloess president of Hospital Corporation of America's TriStar Health System in a statement. "Her outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills have contributed significantly to the successes of facilities she has served in the past, and will no doubt serve her well as she moves to this new leadership position at Emory Eastside."

Ryan takes on the position with her husband, Rich, and three children, Cheryl, Matthew and Christopher at her side.