Piedmont President of Finance and Development Greg Hurst will continue to handle the duties of CEO, as he has since Stack went on medical leave in early June.
Known for his warmth, leadership and vision, Stack served as the top executive for Piedmont Healthcare since December 2001. Under his guidance, Piedmont grew from two hospitals and eight physician practices to a $1.6 billion organization that includes five hospitals, more than 50 primary care and specialty physician practices and a 900-member, clinically integrated physician network. Stack also led Piedmont to develop Atlanta’s first integrated cardiovascular program affiliated with a community health system — Piedmont Heart Institute — which now employs more than 100 cardiovascular experts and received a $20 million gift from the Marcus Foundation for the Marcus Heart Valve Center.
“Tim was a remarkable father, husband and friend, and a courageous leader for our organization. Words cannot do justice to the void his passing leaves,” said Patrick Battey, M.D., Piedmont Healthcare’s board chair.
Since 2001, Stack had served on numerous committees and regional boards for the American Hospital Association; and in 2011, he was named to its board. During his career, Stack also chaired the Georgia Hospital Association board and was the incoming chair for the Georgia Association of Community Hospitals. Last year he was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee. A recipient of the 2010 American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award, Stack also received the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus Award by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Health Administration, as well as the 2008 American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award for significant contributions to healthcare management excellence.
Before coming to Atlanta and Piedmont, Stack served as president and CEO of Borgess Health Alliance and was president and CEO of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. Prior to Borgess, he was president and CEO of South Side Healthcare System in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also served as senior vice president and COO at Central Medical Center and Hospital in Pittsburgh.
“Tim had great pride in serving his community as well as his profession,” Hurst said. “He was always rallying the troops and volunteering his personal time for the American Heart Association, Buckhead Coalition, Georgia Hospital Association, United Way, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and many others.”
Stack made a point of working in service areas of the hospital as often as he could find time.
“Whether it was serving meals in the cafeteria, helping out in surgical supply, or cleaning hospital rooms, Tim loved talking to employees and finding out about their challenges,” said Ed Lovern, chief administrative officer for Piedmont Healthcare who has worked with Stack since 1991. “Tim definitely lived in the moment, but at the same time was an incredible visionary.”
Stack grew up in Pittsburgh, where he worked in the steel mills during the summer between college terms. In 1972, the mills went on strike and he found a job working in central supply at Eye and Ear Hospital. He often said that his goal in life was to be a history teacher and football coach. But the complexity of the hospital environment and the opportunity to help people led Stack to earn his master’s degree in hospital administration at Virginia Commonwealth University after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Bethany College in West Virginia.
Stack enjoyed developing leaders in his organizations as well and started the Women’s Leadership Alliance in 2006 with the goal of inspiring more women to move into leadership positions. Piedmont’s Women’s Leadership Alliance has more than 1,700 members across the healthcare system today. Recently, he began developing a process where he could personally meet and mentor tomorrow’s aspiring healthcare leaders.
Stack’s approach to leadership is best captured in this quote from a 2006 profile in Atlanta Hospital News:
“The attributes of a good leader are universal,” he said. “You need to love what you do, be open and inquisitive and persistent, not afraid to make waves if you have to. You should also be personally productive and work well with others. Be innovative and allow others to innovate. Finally, be a certifiable member of the human race. Cultivate a light touch, be passionate about your career but be sure to balance it with the rest of your life.”