BY Grace Schneider –
KentuckyOne Health delivered pink slips to two executives at Jewish Hospital – current president Joseph Gilene and the chief nursing officer – in what the top local executive says is a push to maintain quality while they prepare to sell the downtown Louisville hospital and area facilities.
The move comes after the financially ailing KentuckyOne announced in May that it would divest itself of all but one Louisville facility and shortly thereafter disclosed the departure of chief executive Ruth Brinkley.
Employees received a memo Tuesday from KentuckyOne interim president and CEO Chuck Neumann announcing that Gilene, who has been the president at Jewish for four years, would leave this Friday. The same goes for chief nursing officer Shawn O’Connor, who was hired in 2015.
Ron Waldridge, a family medicine doctor from Shelbyville who has been chief medical officer and physician executive of KentuckyOne Health Medical Group, was named as the new president with another executive, David Joos, handling day-to-day business as vice president for operations.
Maureen Buckley will assume the role of interim chief nursing officer.
During the transition, the memo said, the company is eliminating the market leader position for Louisville, which Gilene held at Jewish and in overseeing Frazier Rehab and now-severed relationship with University of Louisville Hospital.
KentuckyOne spokesman David McArthur declined to say what prompted the changes now.
Parent company Catholic Health Initiatives of suburban Denver has been pressured to cut its operating losses, which hit $483 million in fiscal 2016. While the company has been in negotiations with Dignity Health of San Francisco, a larger, nonprofit, faith-based health system, it’s estimated the sale of its holding could return $535 million, it’s been working to clean up its balance sheet and cut its losses.