Tidelands Health CFO Terry Kiser retires after 28 years
Tidelands Health CFO Terry Kiser isn’t typically the first person to speak when presented with a problem. He’ll usually listen to each point of view at the table before offering his own.
“Terry is very considerate and deliberate in his decision-making process,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “But once he makes up his mind, he’s very resolute and committed to following through.”
After helping guide Tidelands Health for 28 years, the Pawleys Island resident will retire on Friday, March 31. He’ll be succeeded by Beth Ward, a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of experience in health care finance. She was previously employed as CFO of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center University Hospitals and Clinics.
Colleagues say Kiser will be remembered most for his forethought, patience and outstanding financial skills.
“Terry has been instrumental in the success of Tidelands Health over the last several decades,” said H. McRoy Skipper Jr., CPA, chairman of the Tidelands Health board of trustees. “He is extremely reliable, conscientious and detail oriented.”
Kiser grew up in the small town of Grove City, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh. His first job after college was with a small accounting firm in his hometown. He worked for health care systems in Indiana and Virginia before signing on as CFO of Georgetown County Memorial Hospital – now known as Tidelands Health - on June 1, 1988.
At the time, Tidelands Health was comprised only of the hospital and a small urgent care center in Murrells Inlet. Today, it is the largest health care provider in the region, featuring three hospitals and nearly 50 care locations.
“It’s incredible to look back and consider how much has changed,” Kiser said. “The health system was nothing like it is today.”
Terry was central to the organization’s progress, said Gayle Resetar, executive vice president and chief operating officer. He helped ensure its growth was measured and that each new project or addition to the system made financial sense.
“Terry prevented us from overextending,” Resetar said. “He looked at each project on its merits and allowed us to grow without unnecessary risk.”
Kiser said the most challenging decision the health system faced during his tenure was to build Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet. The health system, founded initially to provide care in Georgetown County, was taking its first major step to expand north toward fast-growing Horry County.
“We’ve been blessed to have a board of trustees that’s always looking to the future,” Kiser said. “That forward-looking approach allowed us to expand and adapt to meet the changing medical needs of the communities we serve.”
With the health system’s growth has come a wide range of new services, Kiser said. The benefits for the community have been tremendous.
“It’s really been exciting to experience the changes,” he said. “When you walk into one of our new locations and see people being helped, it’s a very humbling experience.”
Beyond the increase in high-quality medical care, the system’s expansion has also helped fuel the local economy. A recent study by Coastal Carolina University found that the health system generated $504.5 million of regional economic impact and supported 5,373 jobs across the region in 2016.
Kiser said the health system is on solid financial footing to continue expanding its services even further. In addition to ongoing renovations at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, the health system is planning to break ground this spring on a $44 million, 65,000-square-foot medical facility in the Market Common community in Myrtle Beach. That facility will be home to a wide variety of services, including physician offices, physical therapy, imaging, pain management, laboratory and more.
The system has also announced plans to partner with HealthSouth Corp. for the construction of a new, 46-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Little River.
Kiser’s fingerprints will be on each of the projects, Bailey said, even though he will have retired before construction is started.
“Terry is the one who has secured the financing we need to complete projects and, just as importantly, made sure we had the resources to pay it down,” Bailey said. “We have been incredibly fortunate to benefit from his talents over the last 28 years.”
Kiser said he is looking forward to spending more time with family and traveling. Including his tenure with Tidelands Health, he has worked in health care finance for 36 years.
“I’ve been blessed to have a long and wonderful career,” he said. “I’m looking forward to retirement, but it’s going to be difficult to leave my colleagues and friends.”