The top executives of the state’s largest, privately owned, faith-based health system were the featured guests at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s final CEO Luncheon of 2015, held Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Central Baptist College. Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health, and Doug Weeks, executive vice president and chief operating officer, spoke to the packed room about the health care system and the new Conway hospital.

Wells said rising health care costs and a shortage of nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals create numerous challenges for health care providers. Baptist Health combats these challenges through collaboration and partnerships, including emphasizing wellness programs. According to Wells, health care costs make up 17.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and chronic disease is responsible for 86 percent of those costs. He praised Conway-based Nabholz Corporation’s efforts to promote health and wellness in the workplace.

The new Conway hospital will be the ninth hospital for Baptist Health. Baptist Health – Conway will employ approximately 400, increasing the number of employees in the health system from 8,000 to 8,400. Weeks introduced the Conway hospital’s first eight employees, four of whom currently live in Faulkner County. He also announced that the hospital recently hired its ninth employee – a new administrator. He did not reveal her name because she had not yet notified her current employer.

Baptist Health – Conway will offer a full spectrum of care. Comprehensive services will include labor and delivery, surgical care, cardiac care, orthopedic care, imaging services (MRI, PET, and CAT), respiratory care, physical therapy, and emergency services. Construction is 45 days behind schedule due to a wet spring and is expected to be completed in late summer 2016.

"Starting from scratch is pretty challenging," Weeks said.

Wells said Conway is a destination for health care and many other things, and Baptist Health is prepared to be a good community member.

For more information about Baptist Health, including construction updates and a virtual tour of the new Conway facility, visit