Gilbert Sutton, Jr: Central State Hospital's New RHA

July 5, 2019
Gilbert Sutton, Jr., Central State Hospital's new Regional Hospital Administrator
Gilbert Sutton, Jr., Central State Hospital's new Regional Hospital Administrator

Dr. Emile Risby recently announced the appointment of Gilbert Sutton, Jr. as the new Central State Hospital Regional Hospital Administrator.  Mr. Sutton or Gil as he prefers to be called began his tenure with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities on Monday, June 3, 2019. 

“Gil brings an incredible depth of leadership experience and passion,” said Emile Risby, M.D.  “He has [the] proven ability to lead in a large organization, listen, and work with our team and the individuals we serve along with our partners.” 

Gil most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital located in Anderson County, South Carolina.  Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital is a 200-bed facility accredited by the Joint Commission operated by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.  Gil is also retired from the United States Army as a Command Sergeant Major where he proudly served our county.  In addition, he has a Master of Science Degree in Health Science, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Master of Business Administration degree.  Each of these degrees is from Trident International University. 

Gil recently took time from his busy schedule to speak with David Sofferin and Angelyn Dionysatos about how he manages his life and his work.

Question:  What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?

Gil:  The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up at 4:00 AM is to pray, do hygiene, go for a run and do some yoga exercises afterward, drink a cup of coffee, and then do hygiene for work and head off to work.

Question:  What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?

Gil:  The first thing I do when I arrive to work is to greet the security team, then head to my office, read and answer emails, go to the Forensic Service Meeting at 08:15 AM and immediately afterward attend the Regional Hospital Administrator Meeting at 08:30 AM.

Question:  How often do you round and meet with your staff?

Gil:  My leadership style is all about the Team, so I am a walking Leader, that engages with staff continuously during the day (in different departments).

Question:  How much time do you spend with your direct reports?

Gil:  I spend at least an hour daily with direct reports and spend an hour weekly face-to-face with each direct report one-on-one.

Question:  What is the most challenging part of your day?

Gil:  The most challenging part of the day is lunch because I know it’s important to get some time to recoup but I have a challenge breaking away for a break.

Question:  What do you consider your greatest talent or skill outside of work?

Gil:  The greatest talent or skill outside of work is my ability to ensure I am involved with my family’s love for watching movies and being the best movie critic.

Question:  What is one piece of advice that you remember most clearly today?

Gil:  Care for others more than yourself, even if it hurts; in the end, it makes your life better.

Question:  What do you consider your greatest achievement so far at Central State Hospital?

Gil:  My greatest achievement so far at Central State Hospital was to integrate myself into one of the most talented and stellar healthcare facilities in Georgia (private or public).