This week we’re having a conversation with Bill Sexton, the Chief Executive Officer at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Bill is a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University. In 2006 he served as president of the National Rural Health Association and continues to serve as the chair of its subsidiary, Services Corporation. Bill is also a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.
“We proposed a plan for the Rural Hospital Flexibility Act and took it to Capitol Hill.”
Growing up, Bill never spent more than 4 years in any one location. The one constant for Bill was the small rural community in Central Illinois where his grandparents lived. Most of Bill’s relatives lived in small communities and he liked the fact that everyone knew each other and talked about who lived in that house rather than the address. When his father retired, his family moved to a rural community and lived across the road from a farm. His first year of college, Bill lived in an agricultural fraternity because it was student housing. Living there he made some really good friends and developed a strong respect and admiration for the farmers which he still holds today.
The son of an Air Force officer, Bill entered the Air Force after college and started his military life as a radio relay repairman, working in microwave communications. Since he had a Bachelor’s Degree, he enrolled in a weekend Master’s program along with a colleague who was a Medical Service Corp officer. He encouraged Bill to apply to do the same and he did.
Upon retiring from the military, Bill started all over again as the CEO of a small rural hospital in Wisconsin. At the time, the hospital was struggling for survival and its future was uncertain. After converting the hospital to a critical access hospital and building a rural health clinic, Bill left for the north coast of Oregon with another just converted critical access hospital.
With his family is in the Midwest, when a chance came to move back, Bill took it and has been in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin ever since. There Bill oversaw the construction of a replacement facility and one of the highlights of his life was having his 100-year-old mother there for the dedication ceremony.