LITTLE ROCK — Dr. Jonathan R. Bates, who for nearly 20 years has been chief executive officer of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, announced Friday his plans to retire.
The hospital announced the creation of the Jonathan R. Bates, MD Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy and the establishment of a $3 million endowed chair in his honor.
“Following Dr. Bates’ example, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital will be a national leader in the practice of patient safety and in delivering the highest quality of care,” AHC Board Chairman Tom Baxter said during a news conference at the hospital.
The new center will focus on improving the quality of health care by promoting innovative techniques to improve patient safety and effective care.
The endowed chair, Baxter said, is funded through private donations.
Bates, who became CEO of the hospital in 1993, said Friday he will remain in the position until June 30.
Baxter said a firm has already been hired to conduct a national search for the hospital’s next CEO and the goal is to have Bates’ successor in place by the end of June.
Baxter said later that the same firm, Witt/Kieffer, recommended Bates for the hospital’s CEO job in 1993, and that two people on the hospital search committee in 1993 also are on the current search committee.
Gov. Mike Beebe spoke at the event, which was also attended by former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder.