Russellville, AR (July  7, 2014) – Saint Mary’s Regional Health System CEO, Donald J. “Donnie” Frederic, died unexpectedly on Friday, July 4. Frederic was on vacation with his wife, Jeanne, in Canada when he apparently suffered a massive heart attack. He was 60 years old.

A memorial service will be held next week at Humphrey Chapel in Russellville, AR with details to be announced.  The online guestbook may be viewed at

Since Frederic became CEO of Saint Mary’s in January 2012, the hospital has experienced significant growth. He oversaw the investment of approximately $25 million in capital expenditures from parent company Capella Healthcare, funding expansions in cardiology, cancer treatment, and diagnostics, as well as the 48,000 square-foot new Millard-Henry Clinic.

He was highly engaged in the community, serving on the Boards of the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Economic Development which he had just begun serving as Treasurer.

Frederic had also recently been appointed by the Arkansas State Senate President to serve on the state’s new Healthcare Quality and Payment Policy Advisory Committee, representing hospitals with more than 100 beds.

“We were all shocked to hear of Donnie’s passing,” said Jerry Mabry, President of Capella Healthcare’s Arkansas Market, and a former CEO of Saint Mary’s.  “He was an outstanding leader, and had achieved significant success in his all-too-brief tenure at Saint Mary’s.  Donnie shared our vision of developing Saint Mary’s as a strong regional medical system to better serve people throughout the River Valley Region.  That vision is now coming to fruition. He was also very successful in building strong relationships with the medical staff, managers and employees at Saint Mary’s.”

Kevin Moore is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the hospital.  “Saint Mary’s and our community will miss the leadership and vision that Donnie gave and had for providing the best quality health care systems to the Arkansas  River Valley.  He dedicated himself to promoting not only Saint Mary’s and Millard-Henry Clinic, but all the health care providers in our community.  Through his leadership, he inspired everyone he worked with to provide excellent health care to our community.   Donnie was not only an advocate for Saint Mary’s and Milliard-Henry Clinic, he was an advocate for our community.  We will miss him.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with Donnie the past two and a half years,” said Mike McCoy, Saint Mary’s COO.  “Donnie was committed to providing quality care for our patients, performing our services with compassion and passion, and taking pride in our work.  He led by example and would not ask anyone to do something he would not do himself.  When Donnie came on board in 2012, one of his first priorities was to get more involved in the community and meet with local civic groups.  Donnie was quickly becoming a leader in our community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jeanne and his family.”

“Along with our colleagues at Saint Mary’s Regional Health System, we were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of CEO Donnie Frederic.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues during this challenging time,” said Michael Wiechart, President and CEO of Capella Healthcare.  “As CEO of Saint Mary’s, Donnie has had a tremendous impact on the hospital and in the community.  Last year, he was honored with Capella Healthcare’s CEO Leadership Award for his outstanding work.  We were blessed to have Donnie as a part of our Capella family, and are all better for his time with us.”

Frederic came to Saint Mary’s from Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital, Lacombe, LA, where he had been President and CEO since January of 2009.  Prior to that, he served in senior leadership positions at a number of facilities, including three in Arkansas:  Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock as COO; Northwest Health System in Springdale as Administrator and COO; and Bates Medical Center in Bentonville as COO.  He also served at Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon, IL, as CEO; Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Lafayette, LA, as COO; and Gulf Coast Medical Center in Wharton, TX, as CEO.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his master’s degree in health administration from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. He began his career in health care as a Purchasing Agent at East Ascension Hospital in Gonzales, LA, moving up to Director of Materiel Management at Hamilton Medical Center in Lafayette, LA.

He had earned fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and had been active in both the Arkansas Hospital Association and the Louisiana Hospital Association.

He and his wife, Jeanne, had been married for 22 years.

About Saint Mary’s Regional Health System

Located in Russellville, Arkansas, Saint Mary’s Regional Health System is a 170-bed acute-care facility, fully accredited by The Joint Commission.  Saint Mary’s has been serving the Arkansas River Valley for more than 75 years, offering a wide range of medical services, including Women’s and Children’s Services, Cardiac Catheterization, Diagnostic Cardiac Services, Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation, Orthopedics, Outpatient Therapy Center, Sleep Study Lab, Hyperbaric Wound Care, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Senior Services, Inpatient and Outpatient Surgery, Diagnostic Imaging, Adult Behavioral Health Unit, MSICU and 24-hour Emergency Services.  The hospital is one of the region’s largest employers and tax-payers.  For more information, visit the hospital’s website at

About Capella Healthcare

SMRMC is a part of Capella Healthcare, which partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care and exceptional service. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 13 general acute-care hospitals in six states. For more information, visit

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