Sumner’s Susan Peach awarded CEO of Distinction

November 13, 2020

Susan Peach, recipient of the CEO of Distinction Award, with a small group of socially distanced and masked hospital leaders at Sumner Regional Medical Center. Susan wanted to be photographed with all the staff at Sumner Regional, whom she says are the real heroes.

Sumner Regional Medical Center CEO Susan Peach, RN, BSN, MBA, has been named the 2020 CEO of Distinction by the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA).  The CEO of Distinction Award, the association’s highest honor, recognizes leadership and service by an individual member, in addition to achievements within and contributions to the healthcare industry.  

“Our 2020 Awards of Excellence winners have excelled and outperformed despite unique circumstances brought on by the current healthcare crisis, and we acknowledge their tireless efforts to improve health outcomes for Tennessee residents,” said Wendy Long, MD, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association. 

The THA announcement also noted “Susan Peach… is a veteran hospital administrator with more than 30 years of healthcare experience, she has turned the hospital into a profitable, self-sustaining organization while improving the diversity of healthcare services provided to the community.” 

During eight years under her leadership at Sumner Regional, the hospital has advanced the quality and availability of healthcare services to the residents of Sumner County and northern Middle Tennessee by drastic strides.  

Among the initiatives that Mrs. Peach has led at the hospital include: 

  • The opening of a $5 million ambulatory Emergency Department at SRMC’s Sumner Station campus 

  • The opening of an $18 million cancer center (Carpenter Cancer Center) with radiation oncology  

  • Achieving designation as a Trauma Center (Level III) 

  • Multiple accreditations for Chest Pain and Stroke Care  

  • Opening of an outpatient imaging center at Sumner Station, featuring 128-slice CT and 3d mammography and the only PET CT available in our area 

  • Establishment of a Nursing Residency Program 

  • Establishment of a Pharmacy Residency Program 

  • Addition of a second Cardiac Catheterization Lab 

  • Addition and multiple expansions of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Center 

  • Addition of Robotic Surgery services 

  • Opening of a new gastroenterology lab 

  • An addition of a helipad for trauma transport and close relationship with Vanderbilt LifeFlight 

  • Nuclear Medicine and 128-slice CT additions to the main SRMC campus’ imaging department  

  • Addition of 3D Mammography technology 

  • Addition of a Vascular and Vein Clinic 

  • Addition of Pain Management Outpatient Clinic 

  • 19 physician practices added to HighPoint Health Partners 

This year, Susan’s leadership shone brightest when circumstances demanded it. Sumner Regional was affected early in the Covid-19 pandemic, when more than 100 Covid-19-positive residents of a local nursing home were transported to Sumner Regional over a span of 72 hours in March. The hospital was ready. Mrs. Peach’s planning and preparation gave the staff and physicians the tools and confidence needed to manage a difficult situation extremely well. 

From there, a secondary emergency department was created just for Covid-19 screenings, three secondary critical care units were created for the surge of Covid-19 inpatients. Industrial vacuums were transformed into massive negative air pressure units reduce the airborne transmission of the virus. A plan was developed to ensure all staff would have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they needed to remain safe while caring for very sick and contagious patients.  

“I am humbled and very honored to have been nominated and selected to win this prestigious award from the THA,” said Susan Peach. “Everyone who works in healthcare deserves an award for making it through 2020.” 

“This year has been an extraordinary challenge for all of us, but especially for our staff and those workers on the front line. We owe everything to them.”