EASLEY - After 43 years of service, Baptist Easley CEO, Roddey E. Gettys III, is retiring and will resign his duties to new CEO Mike Batchelor.
“I came in on Dec. 1, 1969 and was hired as the director of pharmacy, central services, and purchasing” Gettys said. “I was new and I was fresh.”
Gettys had worked for what was then called Greenville General Hospital before coming to Easley.
“I worked there and when I told my bosses that I was leaving, they said no, we want you to stay and be our director of pharmacy at the new Greenville Memorial Hospital,” Gettys said. “I said no, I think I’ll go to Easley.”
Over the course of 43 years, Gettys rose from director of pharmacy to CEO.
“Seven years after starting here in Easley, my boss asked me if I wanted to be an assistant administrator,” Gettys said.” I was young and I said sure. It sounded like a real job where I would have to work late and come early, but I worked hard and I loved it.”
Gettys said that in January of 1988, he became executive vice president and chief operating officer for the hospital.
Upon assuming this role, Gettys was recorded as saying the hospital would grow with the community.
“We have grown and we have done some good things,” Gettys said.
According to Gettys, teamwork in the workplace is of chief concern to any successful organization.
“We all know the direction we are going,” Gettys said. “Everyone is pushing and leading as they can. We win together and we achieve together.”
During his time as CEO, Gettys spearheaded the connection between Baptist Easley and the Greenville Hospital System.
“We needed access to their services so we could get our very critically ill patients in that hospital quicker,” Gettys said. “New leadership in Greenville gave me every reason to believe that we could do this and it would be very friendly.”
Gettys said that the Greenville Hospital System bought 50 percent of Baptist Easley.
“I told them when we came together that we were a very good hospital,” Gettys said. “I hope this does not mess us up. We knew where we were going and we knew how to get there, but it’s been a good deal.”
Gettys said that Baptist Easley is on autopilot and the transition following his departure will run smooth because of the team leadership model in place.
“We will do very well,” Gettys said. “Today, we don’t have vice presidents or assistant administrators; we have 16 directors working in their area of expertise. I have empowered them to make decisions at the point of service where the patient is, where the physician is, and where our employees are. Every decision we make, we make with the patient at the middle of the table. We make decisions based on what is best for the patient.”
Gettys said that delegating this authority to those folks where the action is will help them to make better decisions.
During his tenor at Baptist Easley, Gettys put an emphasis on employees enjoying their jobs.
“It all about what you want in life,” Gettys said. “Do you want to enjoy your work, or do you want to be miserable?
Gettys incorporated three rules for the hospital.
“Treat others as you want to be treated, have fun at work, and at 10 ft. make eye contact, and five ft., say something,” Gettys said. “I want my employees to have fun at work and to say something to everybody, your fellow workers and your strangers. If we can be friendly and open, that is a good thing. Friendly people are easily approachable. We can be the best part of a patient’s worst day.”
According to Gettys, new CEO, Mike Batchelor, has is complete support.
“In my final board meeting, I said I would be Mike’s best friend at Baptist Easley Hospital,” Gettys said. “He can ask me anything he wants to. I will show him the ropes. I’m available.”
Gettys said that he plans on remaining active with his grandchildren in retirement.
“I’ve got five grandkids that live in the community and they like it when “pop” gets to go.”Gettys said.
In 2012, Baptist Easley Hospital was awarded elite distinction as a Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital.