Crisp Regional Hospital Chairman Davis retires

Published 9:20 am Monday, October 9, 2017

CORDELE — Over the years, Roe Davis has provided critical leadership for the Crisp County community hospital governing board for 40 years, where he served as chairman for 27 years.

He nurtured and defined the “value” of service among board members and insisted on a disciplined and fair approach to both business and clinical care.

Through his visionary leadership and drive to succeed, Crisp Regional has grown to become the area’s largest employer, becoming a regional medical facility known to attract quality physicians, possess the latest medical technology, and to maintain award winning medical facilities.  Davis’ work dramatically improved access to health care and enhances the lives of many in the region who look to Crisp Regional for care.

It is unusual for a volunteer community board member to serve for 40 years in a leadership role that can be demanding of his time.  However, it has been his drive to care for the Crisp Community that singles him out as a leader.  Over the years, he has never let a barrier or situational defeat keep him from achieving his vision for always improving Crisp Regional.  With is natural ability to motivate people, he has challenged others to reach higher, drive harder, and go further.   His leadership and benevolent service is an important part of our community culture of cooperation, volunteerism, and self-improvement.  Roe was a dedicated board member always willing to voice his opinions and fight for people he represented.  He was steadfast in his efforts and a wonderful debater inside the boardroom.  He was dedicated to the board process and always brought a historical perspective to the discussion.

Roe had many accomplishments during his tenure as a committed Board Member and Chairman at Crisp Regional.  One of his greatest accomplishments was the passing of the SPLOST to support the new hospital which led to construction of the new hospital in 1991.

Some of his other significant accomplishments during his years of service include the Purchase of Care South, Crisp Regional Nursing and Rehab, the Dialysis Center, Crisp Regional Hospital Hospice, Cordele Health, and Blackshear Villa.  During his time, he also influenced the decision to build the ICU and expand the ER.

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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.