Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin has named Jose A. Echavarria as Chief Executive Officer effective April 10, 2023. He replaces Drew Emery who was named to a similar position in January at a medical facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. Emery was named CEO of WHMC in the summer of 2019.

Echavarria has extensive hospital leadership experience, currently serving as CEO of Northwest Medical Center-Springdale in Springdale, Arkansas. In this role, he supported volume growth, increased patient satisfaction, and oversaw service line expansions.

Additionally, he achieved Hospital Letter Grade “A” from Leapfrog Group and improved patient experience scores to the 90th percentile in Overall Rating of a Hospital.

He previously served as Market Assistant CEO for Northwest Health, overseeing the construction of a 12-bed Freestanding Emergency Department, and led the successful implementation of telemedicine for critical care, cardiology, pulmonology, and neurology services across the five hospital system.

“Jose is a great choice to lead Woodland Heights,” says Roy Guse, MD, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Woodland Heights Medical Center. “We were impressed by his commitment to quality and patient safety and know he will positively impact the care and services we provide.”

Before joining Northwest Health, Echavarria was VP of Operations at St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston. There, he managed physician recruitment and service line expansions. He also held an administrative position at Southwest General Hospital in San Antonio.

Echavarria holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Health Care Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. He has been an active member of community and national organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus and the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives. He looks forward to becoming involved in the Lufkin community

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