Phil Patton, senior vice president of human resources at HCA, died Oct. 22 while piloting his personal plane. Authorities found the crash site the next day, near Spencer, Tenn., about 95 miles southeast of Nashville, HCA's hometown. Patton, 50, joined the then-Hospital Corp. of America in 1979 and became senior vice president of human resources in 1992. He worked at two other for-profit hospital companies and then returned to HCA in 1998 in his former position. Patton is survived by his wife, Susan, his son, Ben, and two daughters, Julie and Elisabeth. His death is reminiscent of that of another HCA executive, Scott Mercy, who died when the plane he was piloting crashed outside of Nashville in 2000. Mercy, 38, was chairman and CEO of HCA spin-off LifePoint Hospitals at the time. -- by Vince Galloro
HCA human resources chief dies in plane crash
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