SALEM, VA. (March 16, 2022) — LewisGale Medical Center has hired Willie Payton, Jr. as chief operating officer for the 506-bed acute-care medical and surgical facility.

Before joining LewisGale Medical Center, Payton served as vice president of operations at Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, VA, and has operated clinical and nonclinical services including emergency preparedness, security, safety, endoscopy, engineering, environmental services, food and nutrition services, imaging, and patient transportation.

“We are excited to welcome Willie to our executive team and leverage his experience managing multiple interdisciplinary teams,” said Lance Jones, LewisGale Regional Health System chief executive officer and market president.

Prior to Johnston-Willis, Payton held numerous administrative roles within the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers for over a decade.

Originally, from Cleveland, Payton earned his Bachelor of Arts in organizational communications and Master’s in health services administration from Xavier University. Payton is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE).