Sumlin, who lived at Lenbrook retirement community in Brookhaven, started working at Piedmont as an administrative assistant in 1956, when he oversaw its move from downtown Atlanta to its current location on Peachtree Road. He rose in the ranks to assistant administrator and then administrator (today the title is CEO) after the death of George Burt. Sumlin served in that capacity for 26 years until retiring, and he remained active on the hospital’s board for many years.
“Piedmont will always be grateful and indebted to Hulett Sumlin for his incredible leadership and to his family for sharing him with us,” Patrick M. Battey, M.D., Piedmont Healthcare’s chairman and interim CEO, said in a statement. “It was under Hulett’s leadership that Piedmont Atlanta Hospital grew from 250 to 500 beds, serving more than 23,000 inpatients and over 100,000 outpatients a year. It was his vision that paved the path for Piedmont’s important footprint in the Atlanta community today.”
He was a member of various health care organizations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Hospital Association-House of Delegates, the Georgia Advisory Committee on Nursing, the Georgia Educational Improvement Council and the Red Cross Services Committee. Sumlin also was involved with several other organizations, including the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Hospital Association.
“I would like to be thought of as a fair person, a reasonable person with integrity who tried to do the best he could.” Indeed, he did that. “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” he once said.
Born in Atlanta, Hulett was educated at Boys’ High in Atlanta and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1953 and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
He received certification in hospital administration at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he later earned the Professional Achievement Award. He also served as medical supply officer at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where he served as a first lieutenant. Sumlin was a member of the Capital City Club, Northside United Methodist Church and the Kingswood Sunday School class.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda Lou; his sons and their wives, Andy and Kim, John and Laura, Dodge and Lynn; and six grandchildren.
The funeral was Thursday at Northside United Methodist Church in Buckhead. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the church’s preschool or the charity of one’s choice.