TUPELO, Mississippi — A national search for the new leader of North Mississippi Health Services netted a candidate that has strong ties to the Tupelo community. Shane Spees, a native of Tupelo who started his career in health care under the tutelage of Dan Wilford, a highly-respected and long-time administrator at North Mississippi Medical Center, has accepted the position effective Jan. 2.
Robin McGraw, chairman of the NMHS Board of Directors, announced today that Spees’ hiring was approved during the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Nov. 5. “Shane Spees comes to Tupelo from Baptist Health System Inc., in Birmingham. Like NMHS, it is one of the largest health care systems in that state and one of the state’s largest employers,” McGraw said. “His work experience and his knowledge of north Mississippi make him a perfect fit for our organization.”
“I am extremely excited about joining the team at North Mississippi Health Services. And I am energized by the opportunity to return home to serve the great communities in north Mississippi and northwest Alabama. North Mississippi Health Services is an excellent system of providers that has always served and performed at a very high level. I look forward to building on a rich history of quality, innovation, service and excellent staff and physicians,” Spees said.
Mickey Holliman, the NMHS board member who chaired the search committee, said, “Our search committee was looking for someone who was a visionary, with strategic leadership skills in tackling the many challenges facing health care today, both at the state and national level. Shane Spees is the right person at the right time.”
The search committee, led by Holliman, consisted of fellow NMHS board members, McGraw, Grace Clark, Barney Guyton, M.D., Lewis Whitfield and C.K. “Dick” White, M.D.
Spees, 42, joined Baptist Health System as president and CEO in 2007. Before his employment in Birmingham, Spees lived in Texas where he was president from 2004-2007 of Valley Baptist Hospital Holdings, Inc., which serves the Rio Grande Valley, and senior vice president and chief executive officer of Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, all of which were part of Valley Baptist Health System. He held several leadership roles within the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, which serves the greater Houston area and much of Southeast Texas, from 1995-2004. Spees, who started his career as an administrative resident at Memorial Herman, worked closely with Wilford who was at NMMC during the 1970s and 80s.
He received his master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake in 1997, where he was recognized for academic and leadership excellence. Spees graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of public administration degree in 1992 and the Ole Miss School of Law with his juris doctor in 1995. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1995.
Spees’ community involvement has included membership in or service to the Rotary Club of Downtown Birmingham; Birmingham Business Alliance Board of Directors; Young Presidents Organization Southern 7 Chapter; and the United Way of Central Alabama Board of Directors and Campaign Division Co-Chair. In addition, he currently serves on the United Healthcare Hospital Executive Advisory Board, Alabama Hospital Association Board of Directors and past president of the hospital association’s Birmingham Regional Council.
Spees takes the leadership role previously held by John Heer until he transitioned to a consulting role this fall. During the transition until Jan. 2, a team, comprised of four members of the senior leadership team, Dr. Mark Williams, chief medical officer; David Barber, president of North Mississippi Medical Clinics; Joe Reppert, Chief Financial Officer; and Bruce Toppin, vice president/general counsel; is responsible for running NMHS.
Spees will be joined by his wife, Parker Hilbun Spees, who is also a native of Tupelo, and their two children, Addy-Parker, 13, and Michael, 4.