Anniston’s Regional Medical Center hospital board has a new chairwoman, both the first woman and African American in the board’s history.
Sandra Fox Sudduth, president of the Jacksonville City Council, was made chairwoman of the hospital board Oct. 1, according to a release sent by hospital staff Wednesday afternoon. Sudduth said by phone that she first joined the board in 2006 as one of Jacksonville’s two appointees to the regional board, along with other members appointed by the Anniston and Oxford city councils, and the Calhoun County Commission. RMC is a nonprofit hospital governed by the Health Care Authority of the City of Anniston.
An election committee approached her earlier this year, she said, to see if she’d accept a nomination for board chair. Sudduth likes to volunteer and try to help the community, she said, so she told them yes.
“I guess it came from just not wanting to sit back and be lazy,” Sudduth said, laughing.
As chairwoman, she’ll be the public face of the board and appoint the chairs of board committees, among other responsibilities. She said she’d like to focus on recruiting physicians and nurses, and continue to work on funding the hospital and its programs, one of the board’s key responsibilities.
She said she was of two minds about her historic firsts. She’d rather be taken on her own merits than noted for her gender and race, she said, but she hoped she might be a source of inspiration for young people who had never considered positions like Sudduth’s to be achievable.
“I hope by my being on the board and on the City Council they can see it’s open to anyone,” Sudduth said, “but you’ve got to work for it.”
Sudduth is a retired Jacksonville State University education instructor, and she worked as a teacher and administrator in the Anniston City Schools system before that.