Robert E. Gregory Jr. to step down as Chair of Apella Health Management Board of Trustees
Businessman led Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through significant changes
Spartanburg, S.C. (August 31, 2020) – For the past decade, Robert E. Gregory Jr. has guided Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through the most transformative period in its nearly 100-year history.
At the end of September, Gregory will step down as Chair of the Apella Health Management Board of Trustees, but the impact of his service will be felt for generations.
“It has truly been an honor to serve my community with an outstanding management team in leading Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Apella Health for the past decade,” Gregory said. “I am proud of the work my fellow trustees, associates, physicians, volunteers and the leadership team do each day to care for their community. I firmly believe the health system is poised for even greater success in the years ahead.”
In 2011, Gregory was elected Chair of the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Board of Trustees, serving six years, and later began serving on the newly formed Apella Health Management Board of Trustees, where he most recently completed his fourth year as Chair. Community leader Mary L. Thomas will become the next Chair of the Apella Health board.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System CEO Bruce Holstien said Gregory’s leadership transformed the health system in strategic, meaningful ways to enable it to better meet its mission today and tomorrow.
“Chairman Gregory’s guiding hand will be seen in health care in the Upstate for years to come,” Holstien said. “From the growth of the health system to the technology used by our providers and associates, his contributions are evident in the lives of patients we treat each day.”
Among his numerous accomplishments, Gregory led the board to update the health system’s governance structure in 2016, forming Apella Health Management, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit management company that provides oversight to Spartanburg Regional. This change improved the healthcare system’s ability to partner with other community hospitals. In addition, the health system has been perennially ranked as one of the top-performing quality of care systems in S.C. and has for multiple years achieved national top quartile associate and physician workplace satisfaction.
The system’s physical footprint also expanded under Gregory’s leadership. During his tenure, Spartanburg Regional made new investments in Pelham Medical Center; built the new Gibbs Cancer Center at Pelham; and acquired Union Medical Center, Ellen Sagar Nursing Home, Cherokee Medical Center and Spartanburg Medical Center – Mary Black Campus. Revenue for the system grew nearly $1 billion during his tenure as Chair, and the system reinvested more than $820 million in capital improvements.
With a system of six hospital campuses and more than 100 medical offices, the coordination of patient information is vital. Spartanburg Regional started consolidating six different electronic health record systems under Epic in 2016. Through Epic, Spartanburg Regional patients can visit any doctor or hospital, and if that provider uses Epic, their patient records can be accessed, providing important medication and health condition information.
In business, Gregory’s national reputation includes managing large successful companies as a turnaround specialist. He is nationally known as a leading business strategist.
During his career, he served as Legal Assistant to the Chief Justice of South Carolina and then as Group Vice President and General Counsel of Spartan Mills. He then served as President of the Lee Company and later as President of VF Corporation, the largest apparel company in the world, for 10 years.
In 1992, he established his own turnaround firm and restructured over a dozen companies, including Gitano Inc. and London Fog Corp. Gregory then served as operating partner for 10 years with two multi-million private equity firms. During his career, he served in the corporate boards of nearly 20 companies, including NYSE companies, United Missouri Bank, Promus Hotels, VF Corp., London Fog Corp., Gitano Inc., Frisbee International and Globe Manufacturing.
Gregory, the son of a newspaper executive, graduated from Greenville High and Wofford College. After service as a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Harvard Business School.
Throughout his career, Gregory has given generously of his time, skills and resources to religious and charitable foundations. On the local level, besides his service as Chair of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Apella Health, he has also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of each of the following charitable organizations: Wofford College, Spartanburg County Foundation and Spartanburg Regional Foundation.
Gregory has received numerous awards for his charitable work, including an honorary degree from Wofford College and the Man of Toleration award from the State of Israel.