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Thomas Kidd Retires as CEO of Macon Community Hospital

A proclamation from the State of Tennessee and Senator Yager’s office, was presented to Mr. Thomas Kidd in honor of his retirement as CEO of Macon Community Hospital. Pictured, l-r: Senator Yager, Teresa Kidd, Thomas Kidd, and Representative Kelly Keisling. (Photo by D. Gregory)

By Debbie Gregory

On Friday, January 5th, Mr. Thomas Kidd, CEO of Macon Community Hospital, was honored with a retirement celebration at the Jenkins Center, with a host of family, friends, colleagues and special guests dropping by to wish him well as he heads into the next chapter of his life. After 20 years at the local hospital, Thomas will take with him a wealth of memories, including both happy and challenging times at the medical facility.

The community oriented hospital executive, proudly looks back on the highlights of his career and the road that led him to Lafayette.

Thomas Kidd was born and raised in Fayetteville, Tn., and lived there all of his life, until he took the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position at Macon County General Hospital in 2004. He graduated from Central High School in Lincoln County in 1976 and the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1979 with a degree in accounting. He went into public accounting, then into private industry, and got into the medical business in 1994.

“I had done a turn around for a company TVA owned,” said Thomas, “and I received a job offer from a medical equipment/home health company that was headquartered in Fayetteville and I went to work for them. The company was later bought out by one of the big national medical companies and I didn’t want to move to Tampa, Florida, so I started talking to QHR and they had an opening in Lafayette. I came here in 2004 and interviewed with Mr. Dennis Wolford, who brought me on board. And as they say, the rest is history.”

“I remember when I first hired on as the CFO, I came in, sat down and dived right into the job,” said Thomas. “I found out we had four days of cash on hand, and we had payroll coming up. I went to Mr. Charlie Darnell and Mr. Radford West and they loaned us the money to operate until we got our money from the state. I knew right then that I was in a town that completely supported their local hospital. Since then we have continued to build and never looked back.”

“I took on the new role as CEO when Dennis Wolford retired in 2017,” continued Thomas. “Dennis had known for a couple of years that he was going to retire and he left everything in really good shape. He worked hard to make sure it was a smooth transition and I really appreciated that.”

“The hospital has really grown through the years and when I first came here there were 68 employees and today there are 204,” said Thomas. “We’ve expanded the scope of what we can do at the hospital, added a lot of services and specialty clinics, along with state of the art equipment and technology. Our mission is to provide the best quality care, with the latest technology. We have also added the new emergency department and changed the name to Macon Community Hospital. We aren’t owned by the county, we are a community hospital.”

When I asked Thomas what he had learned about rural hospitals through the years, he said that it’s a challenging environment, and it’s a constant battle with insurance companies who don’t like to deal with small hospitals. “The rules and regulations are written for the big city hospitals, but we have to follow them as well,” noted Thomas. “But it has it’s pluses, because in rural hospitals you are taking care of your neighbors, your friends and your family members, so patients get more personalized care in small hospitals than they do in big city hospitals.”

Thomas said that today, there are a lot of rural hospitals that have either gone out of business or are struggling financially, and the reason Macon Community Hospital has thrived is because of the community support. “We believe in good quality care and because of that the community trusts us and comes here for their medical needs,” said Thomas. 

“It was a really good decision for me coming to Lafayette, even though there were times I wasn’t available for my family, ” said Thomas. “They have kind of done without because of my job, but I want to thank them for always understanding.”

 During the interview Thomas expressed sentiment toward the dedicated hospital employees and what an outstanding crew they were. “I have always been impressed with our staff at the hospital and their willingness to step up whenever they were needed,” said Thomas. “They are our biggest asset at Macon Community Hospital.” 

“I will miss all the people I have worked with on a daily basis and I will treasure the many friendships I have built over the years,” shared Thomas. “I want to thank the doctors, nurses and the entire medical community for supporting me and the hospital all these years. And I especially want to thank the Macon Community Hospital Board of Directors for giving me the opportunity to have served in this position.”

“Macon County has been good to me, and I am fortunate as well as blessed to have worked at such a great hospital for the last 20 years. Macon County has certainly made a difference in my life, and even though I hate saying good-bye, I’m looking forward to getting back to the farm in Fayetteville this spring, where I was born and raised.”

“There are a lot of things in the works at the hospital and I have all the confidence in the world in the new CEO, Mr. Scott Tongate. I know I’m leaving the hospital in good hands.

“I told the board of directors the other night that I have a lot of good memories here and that it’s been real and it’s been fun. And some days it wasn’t real fun, but it’s been a good run and I’ve certainly enjoyed it!

“This is definitely a community hospital and everybody working together has made the medical facility what it is today,” added Thomas. “I’m excited for what is yet to come at Macon Community Hospital.”

Mr. Thomas Kidd is a member of the Lafayette Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and he was instrumental in starting the arts council. He has been the treasurer of Makin Macon Fit for 19 years, was the announcer for the Macon County Junior High football games for 14 years and he helped do the announcing for the Macon County High School football games for 14 years.

Thomas’s wife, Teresa, is a retired school teacher. They are a blended family with seven children, 13 grandchildren, and one great grandchild on the way.   

Congratulations Thomas on your retirement, and good luck in the future!