Charles Stewart will be the new chief executive officer for Summit Medical Center and Sparks Health System, effective Sept. 30.

Stewart of Poplar Bluff, Mo., will be Health Management’s new Arkansas market chief executive officer.

For the past two years, Stewart has served as the Missouri market CEO for Health Management hospitals Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center and Twin Rivers Medical Center.

He has 30 years of experience in hospital management, including administrative and executive positions at hospital systems in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina.

"I am truly excited to be joining such a great health system, which has such a long history and tradition of serving the Fort Smith and Van Buren regions," Stewart said. "I look forward to becoming part of the community."

Hugh Maurras, president of Sparks Health System’s Board of Trustees, says he is impressed with Stewart’s commitment to servant leadership.

"Charles Stewart has won many awards for his service, not only to groups like masons and Rotary club, but also to the American College of Healthcare Executives and several chambers of commerce," Maurras said. "He will be a benefit to our community."

Stewart, a native of Alabama, earned a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Jacksonville State University and a master’s degree in education and counseling and a master’s degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Charles Stewart has demonstrated exceptional leadership during his tenure at Poplar Bluff," said Angie Marchi, HMA Atlantic Division CEO. "We are confident he is the right person to lead Sparks Health System and Summit Medical Center into the future."

Melody Trimble, HMA Southern and Western Group president and former Arkansas Market CEO, also expressed her confidence in Stewart.

"Charles is the perfect combination of strength and compassion," Trimble said.

Sparks Health System includes Sparks Regional Medical Center, Sparks Clinic, Sparks PremierCare, Sparks Home Health and the Marvin Altman Fitness Center in Fort Smith.

Summit Medical Center is a fully accredited acute care hospital in Van Buren.