Donna Isgett becomes president, CEO of McLeod Health


Donna Isgett

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – McLeod Health announced the promotion of Chief Operating Officer Donna Isgett to president and CEO on Monday.

Isgett takes on the role held by Rob Colones since 2002. Colones will continue with the 18-county health system as President Emeritus, an advisory position to assist the new CEO while providing an
historical perspective and guidance to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

“I’ve spent the last year visiting our hospitals and teams on all campuses and all shifts, talking with everyone from clinical to administrative and environmental control people,” said Isgett. “I’ve seen the evidence of Rob’s work as a transformative leader, giving us a health system that’s tremendously visible in many communities, offering high-quality care and sustaining a fiscally sound financial picture.

“It is a privilege and honor to accept this challenge and continue to move the organization through a new chapter of healthcare at this critical time in our industry,” she added.

“Donna has the experience, skills and personal qualities needed to successfully address the issues of a complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment,” stated Colones. “Working with Donna for more than two decades, I can testify that she is data-driven, an agent of change and a collaborative partner.”

Isgett joined McLeod Health in 1997 and currently as Chief Operating Officer is responsible for the oversight of administrators at the seven McLeod hospitals. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina and MBA from Duke University. She spent the majority of her clinical career as an emergency flight nurse.

Since joining McLeod, she has served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Quality, helping McLeod gain a national reputation for quality of care, and has also had oversight of McLeod Physician Associates, a network of 90 physician practices stretching from the midlands to the coast.

Since 2013, Isgett served as a member of the South Carolina Hospital Association Board of Trustees and in 2020 was named board chair. She is also on the Coker University (Hartsville, SC) Board of Trustees. She served as co-chair of the 2005 Institute Healthcare Improvement Forum. Isgett has been the recipient of the Milliken Medal of Quality from the South Carolina Quality National Forum and the Lewis Blackman Patient Safety Award from the South Carolina Hospital Association. She was a 2011 Liberty Fellow at the Aspen Global Institute.

“One of the reasons we did not undertake a national search is that Donna combines the best elements of both an inside and an outside candidate for CEO,” said McLeod Board Chair Ben Zeigler. “While playing a key operational role in providing exceptional quality care, Donna is also recognized for her work at state and national levels on the larger and dynamic health care issues of our time. She is extremely competent and a leader among leaders.”

“For over two decades, McLeod Health has distinguished itself as a leader in health care, with its
outstanding focus on the quality of clinical care, continuous improvement, and making a difference in the patient experience on behalf of millions of people that the organization serves. This remarkable work, engaging the deep commitment of staff and leaders working collaboratively, has produced superlative outcomes for patients, families, and the community,” according to Donald Berwick, MD, MPP., President Emeritus & Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “Success like that requires purposeful, deliberate efforts and real vision.”

“The South Carolina Hospital Association joins the McLeod Health family in celebrating this leadership transition,” said Thornton Kirby, President & CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association. “During his distinguished service as CEO, Rob Colones led McLeod Health on a journey to become a physician-led system with a national reputation for the highest quality of care. His humble leadership style has often allowed others to enjoy the spotlight, but Rob’s impact on the lives of Pee Dee residents will be felt for generations.”

Kirby added, “Donna Isgett brings her own dynamic leadership style to the helm of McLeod Health. As Chairman of our Hospital Association Board during this extraordinary pandemic, Donna has demonstrated the same perseverance and emotional intelligence that helped earn McLeod’s national reputation for quality. All of South Carolina has benefitted from her efforts this year to unify the hospital community and to work in partnership with the Governor’s Office and DHEC to save lives. I have every expectation that McLeod Health will continue to thrive under Donna’s leadership.”

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