After six years as the president of Athens-Limestone Hospital, David Pryor announced this week he will be stepping down to work with research facilities as they test vaccines, including a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The announcement was first made Tuesday. Pryor said he's enjoyed his time at ALH and will miss the level of community engagement that came with being ALH's president. During the pandemic, he has become a familiar sight at media conferences, providing updates on hospital operations and helping keep the public informed on the novel coronavirus' presence in Limestone County.
In his new role, Pryor will be working with North Alabama Research Center in Athens and Medically Affiliated Research Center in Huntsville on clinical drug and vaccine trials, including a possible vaccine against the novel coronavirus that has killed nearly 1,000 Alabamians and more than 120,000 Americans.
"It's a huge opportunity for those clinics to participate in the important study to bring a vaccine to market to stop this pandemic," Pryor said. "It's an exciting new challenge for me to be part of."
Pryor has worked with ALH since June 2014, and in that time, the hospital has changed and grown considerably to match the changes and growth of its community. During Pryor's tenure, the hospital has added a new surgery tower, advanced wound care center, new spine program and more, as well as moving from a two-star hospital to a four-star hospital in 2019.
"We've had a lot of good wins," Pryor said, but he added none of the wins were because of him. "It's the team here at Athens, the staff and volunteers across the organization, that require the credit."
He expects that to continue even after his final day, which is currently set for July 24. An interim president has not been announced yet.