James Elrod, president and CEO of Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, La., and the longest-tenured hospital administrator in the United States, plans to retire Sept. 30 after 56 years, the health system announced Sunday. Jerry (Jaf) Fielder II, who has held multiple senior roles since joining the health system in 1990, will succeed him.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the medical staff, the management team and Willis-Knighton’s over 7,000 employees, we want to thank Mr. Elrod for his unparalleled contributions and indelible impact during his more than five decades at the helm of this organization,” said Board Chairman Frank Hughes, M.D. “Under his leadership, Mr. Elrod has grown Willis-Knighton from a small community hospital to one of the largest healthcare systems in Louisiana. We are fortunate that he will be President Emeritus and remain on the Board of Trustees so as to ensure a seamless changing of the guard.”
Elrod is a former member of the AHA Board of Trustees.