In Memoriam: Hulett Sumlin

Hulett Sumlin, who was administrator of Piedmont Hospital from 1965 until his retirement in 1991, recently passed away in Atlanta. He was 82.

Sumlin, an Atlanta native and a University of Georgia graduate, started at Piedmont in 1956, and oversaw its move from the original hospital location on Capitol Avenue to its current home on Peachtree Road.

He guided Piedmont through one of the most eventful periods in Atlanta history. He took over as head of the hospital the year Georgia’s capital city got the green light for its first major sports franchise. When he retired, Atlanta was an international city beginning preparations to host the Olympics.

He is remembered for his kindness and dedication to the hospital and to his family and community.

“Hulett Sumlin understood the importance of working with people,’’  Richard B. Hubbard III, who succeeded Sumlin as president and CEO of Piedmont, said at his funeral.

“The importance of learning their names, or something about them, or the importance of just stopping to speak and ask about their family, or just to share a little humor,’’ Hubbard said. “It was his style, and it only took a minute, but it placed emphasis on personal care or as it was called, ‘the Piedmont way’!”

Nina Day, a longtime spokeswoman for Piedmont, told GHN that Sumlin “was an incredible man, a wise leader, a dedicated family man, a community servant.’’

“He was certainly one of the lead architects of the successful Piedmont organization and a forefather of health care in greater Atlanta today,’’ Day added.

Sumlin is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda Lou Sumlin; his sons and their wives, Andy and Kim, John and Laura, Dodge and Lynn; and grandchildren, Hayden and Benjamin, Chat and Carter, and Emily and Matthew.