Mercy Health Love County - News

Barker Nears 25th Anniversary As Administrator/CEO

Posted on Friday, August 1st, 2014

Richard Barker, FACHE
His hospital service dates to 1973. Has
been managing the organization since 1990.
Earned Board certification as a Fellow of
the American College of Healthcare
Executives (FACHE) in 2012. Is licensed in
long-term care administration
and respiratory therapy (RRT).
Holds master’s degrees in healthcare
administration (University of Minnesota) and
business administration (Ottawa University, Kansas).
Earned undergraduate degrees in hospital services
management (Ottawa University) and cardio-
pulmonary studies (El Centro College). 
In the community Barker is president of the Love
County Chamber of Commerce and is an
elected member of the Marietta City Council
(currently acting Mayor). 


Richard Barker, FACHE, is in his 25th year as hospital administrator/CEO. Financial pressures year-to-year on public, county hospitals are intense, yet Mercy Health/Love County ranks among the most successful 25-bed facilities, according to cost reports filed with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

The hospital has steadily built capacity in skilled nursing, screening, testing, rehabilitation, and emergency services, and added a medical clinic and an adult day/community counseling center, all of which are drawing customers from surrounding counties.

Barker has a reporting relationship to the Hospital Board of Control, the Health Center Foundation Board, and the EMS (ambulance) Board. Each Board is made up of Love County citizens appointed by the elected Love County Board of Commissioners. Outside of the county, under the hospital’s management agreement, Barker is Regional Director of Mercy Health System. 

From 1979-1990, Barker was the hospital’s respiratory therapist and manager of preventive medicine and ambulance service. Earlier in his career, he worked as an EMT and ambulance driver, a Sheriff’s deputy, and a Gainesville police officer. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.  

He graduated from Thackerville High School in 1969, then earned numerous college degrees and professional certifications while working fulltime in healthcare.“Keeping the educational pursuit alive and well is key for the hospital. We need to be lifelong learners in order to help at each higher level the community requires, ” Barker said.