White River Health System’s (WRHS) Board of Directors and CEO Gary Bebow have announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2018.  Mr. Bebow has served as the system’s CEO since January 1991, completing almost 28 years of leadership.

During Bebow’s tenure, his vision and expertise guided WRHS through exponential growth in admissions, financial performance, facility development, physician recruitment, and employment.  Today, WRHS includes two hospitals, outpatient care centers, Arkansas’s first satellite emergency room, rural health, primary care, specialty clinics, and senior life centers. 

For the past eight months, WRHS has overseen the transition in leadership by forming a Succession Planning Committee with the goals of assuring a smooth transition and selecting the best person to follow Mr. Bebow.  At its August 28th Board meeting, the WRHS Board named Gary Paxson, WRHS CEO, effective January 1, 2019.   During the transition, Paxson, Successor CEO, will assume immediate responsibility for system reporting and organizational leadership responsibilities.

“Gary Paxson has demonstrated his leadership ability to the Board to lead White River Health System in the future,” said Boris Dover, Chairman of the WRHS Board of Directors. “On behalf of the Board, I want to express my appreciation to Mr. Bebow and Mr. Paxson for their exceptional leadership and dedication to advancing healthcare in this region.”

In January 2019, Mr. Bebow will continue to serve WRHS as an advisor to Mr. Paxson and the WRHS Board of Directors.  “I’ve enjoyed my career at WRHS and very much appreciate the support and guidance of the WRHS Board of Directors, Medical Community, Management, employees, volunteers, and communities throughout our service area.  Gary Paxson is a capable, proven leader, and I’m confident in his ability to advance WRHS in to the future.”