From Paramedic to CEO: Craig McCoy's Story

For Craig McCoy, being named the new CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis wasn’t just a career milestone, it was a homecoming.

Born and raised in Greenville, he attended Furman University before serving as a paramedic for Greenville County Emergency Services for more than seven years. He attended graduate school while working as a paramedic, juggling a brutal schedule of night classes three to four nights a week with 12 hour shifts providing emergency services to the people of Greenville County. And it was that brutal schedule and unique understanding of the health care system that helped form McCoy’s personal view of his role today.

“It’s given me a perspective of what it’s like to take care of the patient first,” said McCoy. “From high-end communities to more desolate communities, you learn to interact across socioeconomic scales – how to be myself regardless of who I’m talking to.”

After receiving a Master’s degree in Health Administration from a joint program between Clemson and MUSC, McCoy set his sights on a job in hospital administration and was able to find a position as an Assistant Administrator and entry into a CEO training program at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, NC.

From there, he worked in various markets as a Chief Operating Officer and VP of Professional Services before ascending to CEO in large health systems in Phoenix, AZ and Atlanta, GA. Still, McCoy never let the CEO title define him. “I’m not a title person,” he admits.

After all, health care is in his blood. Both his father and brother are physicians and his wife is a nurse. McCoy says those relationships have greatly influenced his attitude toward his role as CEO, where he believes listening to the concerns of employees is paramount to his success as a leader. He believes that above all else, health care is a relationship business, whether it’s with your patients, your community, or your employees. And you can’t help but recognize that working as a paramedic has profoundly shaped his philosophy as the CEO of a major hospital system. He doesn’t take anything for granted, and recognizes that even though he’s the one in charge, he’s still a cog in a greater system.

“What happens if I don’t show up? The hospital still runs. But what happens if a cook or a nurse doesn’t show up? Care is impacted. My job is to work for those people.”

While Craig McCoy has moved far beyond his days as a paramedic, he admits there are still times that he misses taking care of patients and the instant gratification that comes with making someone feel better. He looks to find that same satisfaction now in his role as CEO, working every day to make his community and his employees better.