Piedmont veteran accepts leadership reins at Augusta hospital

Lily Henson, M.D.
Lily Henson, M.D.(Contributed)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 2:32 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Piedmont Augusta, formerly known as University Hospital, will have a new leader early next year.

Lily Henson, M.D., currently CEO at Piedmont Henry Hospital, has accepted the role, succeeding retiring CEO James R. Davis.

The effective date is Jan. 9, 2023.

A nationally recognized neurologist by training, Henson started her Piedmont career in 2015 as chief of neurology. A year later, she transitioned to serve as chief medical officer of Piedmont Henry and then as CEO of the hospital.

“Among other things, she is credited with exceptional leadership during the pandemic, which was instrumental in her hospital’s ability to thrive while caring for 5 percent of Georgia’s hospitalized COVID patients with only 1 percent of the state’s acute care beds,” Piedmont Healthcare said Tuesday in a news release.

Henson also has decades of clinical and administrative leadership experience from leading a clinical practice to serving in leadership roles at large organizations similar to Piedmont.

Davis joined Piedmont Augusta in 2009.

He’s credited with building an extensive network of employed primary, prompt and specialty physicians and advanced practice providers. During his tenure, he increased the organization’s assets by 80 percent, and brought to fruition the partnership with Piedmont, Georgia’s largest health system, which committed to investing $1 billion in improvements in Augusta and McDuffie over 10 years.

Davis said Henson is uniquely qualified to lead Piedmont’s Augusta health hub.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have served such a strong institution, to help it continue its 204-year tradition of excellence,” Davis said when announcing his retirement in August 2022. “My goal was always to leave what was University Health Care System in a better position than I found it. I feel that I have accomplished that goal, and I’m excited about Piedmont Augusta’s future.”

Henson received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Honors Program in Medical Education. She practiced neurology in Seattle with Swedish Health Services for 25 years. She was previously the vice president of medical affairs of one of Swedish’s community hospitals after serving as chief of staff of Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah campus.