Ruth Brinkley to resign as CEO of KentuckyOne Health - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ruth Brinkley to resign as CEO of KentuckyOne Health

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Ruth Brinkley (KentuckyOne Health photo) Ruth Brinkley (KentuckyOne Health photo)
KentuckyOne Health owns Jewish Hospital in downtown Louisville KentuckyOne Health owns Jewish Hospital in downtown Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –  A week after announcing a major retreat from the Louisville market, KentuckyOne Health said Friday that its CEO will leave in July.

Ruth Brinkley, who has led the statewide health system since its inception in 2012, will resign effective July 14, KentuckyOne Health said in a news release.

Chuck Neumann, the interim president of University of Louisville Hospital, will become interim president and CEO of KentuckyOne.

KentuckyOne was already set to return University Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center to U of L management on July 1.

Last week, the health system with $2 billion in annual revenues said it wants to sell almost all of its Louisville assets, including Jewish Hospital, the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, Jewish Hospital Shelbyville and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in south Louisville.

The move would shrink KentuckyOne to a much smaller organization primarily serving central and eastern Kentucky.

Part of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, KentuckyOne was formed by the merger of CHI’s St. Joseph Health System in Lexington and Louisville’s Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare.

KentuckyOne operates most of University Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center under a 2013 agreement with the university.

But the partnership fell apart last year, and U of L and KentuckyOne agreed to part ways beginning July 1.

Thanks to a big boost from Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid, the hospital and cancer center have been profitable recently. Still, KentuckyOne as a whole has been of CHI’s worst-performing regions.

The health system has had several rounds of job cuts totaling at least 1,000 positions since 2014.

Its challenges will only grow once the hospital and cancer center are returned to U of L, Moody’s Investor Service said while downgrading CHI’s debt in March.

KentuckyOne Health board chairman Richard Schultz praised Brinkley, saying she “developed the statewide structure for a complex organization, and established the vision and purpose for our path forward,” according to the news release.

Brinkley, who was not available for interviews Friday, said in the release that it was “an honor and privilege” to lead the organization.

“While I'm leaving the organization, I will continue my professional life through mentoring and developing leaders for success in executive management and Board of director roles, and other leadership positions,” she said. “I will also devote time to supporting organizations in their strategic growth and development through my service as a health care executive and as a board member. These activities will continue to receive my professional attention, my time and my passion.”

 Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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