Springfield, MO

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Incoming Cox CEO makes leadership changes

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Days before Steve Edwards officially takes the top post of CoxHealth, he has restructured the positions of four executives, effective Jan. 1.
In succeeding President and CEO Bob Bezanson, who is retiring Dec. 31, Edwards will serve as the health system’s fifth CEO since 1965.
In Edwards' Dec. 28 announcement:
  • Dr. John Duff was promoted to senior vice president and chief hospital officer, from senior vice president and administrator, Cox hospitals. Duff's duties include oversight of four hospitals –  Cox South, Cox Walnut Lawn and Cox North in Springfield, and Cox Monett Hospital in Monett – and of Oxford HealthCare, Home Parenteral Services and Cox College.
  • Dr. Ken Powell added the role of chief integrated physician to his existing title of chairman of the Joint Operations Committee. He is responsible for integrating physician operations for CoxHealth Regional Services, Ferrell-Duncan Clinic and Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute.
  • Ron Prenger was promoted to vice president and chief clinical officer from administrator of Cox Walnut Lawn and vice president of clinical services. His duties encompass all hospital inpatient clinical services.
  • Brian Williams was promoted to vice president and chief of business development from vice president of business development. He is responsible for CoxHealth Network, the managed-care contracting arm of the health system, as well as for marketing and planning, and occupational medicine and SNSI clinic operations.
Edwards said in a news release the changes are designed to enhance continuity of care through increased efficiency, standardization and improved access to physician clinics. In a December interview, Edwards identified those elements as key inclusions in the health system’s strategic plan.
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