Doctors’ Memorial Hospital Welcomes Chris Schmidt as New Chief Executive Officer

Doctors’ Memorial Hospital (DMH) is pleased to welcome its new CEO Chris Schmidt to the Taylor County community. Chris is a visionary hospital leader with more than 30 years of healthcare experience who joins DMH from Flagler Health+ in St. Augustine, Fla. After an expedited and exhaustive search for the right candidate, the DMH Board of Directors announced the selection of Mr. Schmidt to lead the hospital in November 2020. His first day on the job was February 15, 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chris, who brings deep clinical and management experience to our hospital,” said Pat Barbaree, Chairman of DMH’s Board of Directors. “We are honored to have a person of Chris’s integrity, service and knowledge to lead our hospital’s strategic growth and future.”

Chris Schmidt received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Texas – Houston, as well as a graduate certificate in Health Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of St Augustine.

A military veteran, Chris honorably served 22 years in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, both in medical treatment facilities stateside and combat support operations overseas in Africa, the South Pacific and Middle East. He retired at the rank of Commander. In addition to Hospital Administration, Chris is a board certified Nurse Practitioner, and continues to actively practice in Emergency Departments throughout Northeast Florida. During his military and civilian healthcare career, Chris received numerous personal or institutional awards to include “Innovation in Patient Care” from the Florida Hospital Association, and the “Clinical Nursing Excellence Award” from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He has served at a national level with the Emergency Nurses Association, held Associate Clinical Faculty status with the University of North Florida, and was appointed to serve as Specialty Leader, Emergency Trauma Nursing to the Navy Medicine Surgeon General. In addition to numerous professional accomplishments, Chris has been active in advancing domestic violence awareness in St. Augustine, where he has served on the Board of Directors for the Betty Griffin Center for Domestic Violence. Chris is married to his wife Jules of 30 years. They have four children.

As Chris assumes the role as new CEO, Pat Barbaree recognized the extraordinary efforts and contributions of Lauren Faison-Clark, on loan from Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to DMH while the search was underway for a new full time CEO. Ms. Faison-Clark served as interim CEO for DMH since mid-November 2020, enabling the hospital to “not only maintain consistency in its daily operations, but also to make significant progress in numerous key areas”, said Jim Coleman, CEO of Alliant Management, the management partner which provides oversight for the ongoing operation of the hospital. “During Lauren’s tenure, not only did she help DMH achieve the goal of reaching double digit inpatient census for the hospital, but also her leadership helped establish nurse practitioners to assist with hospitalist duties, established a contract for a new wound care service, and focused on nursing retention and recruitment.”

During this time, Coleman added, “Lauren helped to establish a framework for improving the services of the Emergency Department to the community and to increase services that the hospital could provide so people can receive more health care services closer to home. She has been key in making positive progress at DMH over the past few months and we appreciate all her contributions.”