NEW ALBANY — A fixture for more than four decades at Baptist Health Floyd will soon be leaving.
Dr. Dan Eichenberger, who has served as president and CEO of the hospital since October 2015, announced he will be stepping down from his position Nov. 1. He will also be leaving his medical practice effective Dec. 31.
Eichenberger, who is 56, said when he was named president in 2015 he didn't plan on making it permanent. He helped orchestrate the sale of Floyd Memorial Hospital to Baptist Health in 2016 and has been working since to get all the hospital's IT systems, including medical records, integrated with Baptist Health. He said that was recently completed, so it is time to move on.
"It's an opportunity for me to try some other things," he said. "This was never going to be a long-term thing for me. Besides running the hospital, I have also maintained my practice. Those 14-hour days were getting old."
Eichenberger said he is open to consulting work or stepping in as an interim director of a hospital, which could lead to some travel opportunities, but he is not looking for a full-time job. He said he didn't think it would be fair to his replacement to be seen continuing to make rounds, which is why he is giving up his practice.
"I think that would create an undue burden for someone to come in and take over," he said.
During Eichenberger's four years at the helm, Baptist Health Floyd received recognition for excellence in nursing with the American Nurses Credentialing Center Pathway to Excellence designation.
“Dan Eichenberger was the right man at the right time to steer the hospital through its sale and successful transition to the Baptist Health family," Jerrol Miles, Baptist Health Floyd board chairman, said. "That’s because he’s been a long-time champion for improved health care in our community, and a driving force behind the hospital’s growth. It’s difficult to imagine Floyd County’s health care community without him.”
Eichenberger began his career at the hospital at age 15 as an orderly. He is board certified in both adult internal medicine and pediatrics. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and in 2013, completed his Master's of Business Administration in Health Care Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.
He was the original founder of Physicians Associates of Floyds Knobs, now known as Baptist Health Medical Group Family Medicine.
One of his duties for many years was serving as the Floyd County jail doctor. Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop said while working on an ambulance he first met Eichenberger, who was an orderly at the time. He said he leaves some big shoes to fill.
"It's a loss for the community," Loop said. "He is a fixture here and has a lot to offer. He brought a lot of common sense to medical issues when he was at the jail."
Eichenberger called it a privilege to be part of the hospital for more than four decades. He said he is proud of the hospital's accomplishments, and feels good with where it is at as he leaves his role as president. Departing, however, will not be without some sadness.
"For 41 years, in some capacity, I've been at the hospital. I have friends in every department," he said. "I met my wife here, my kids and grandkids were born here. It's been a big part of my life."