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Baptist Health President & CEO announces retirement

Tommy J. Smith, president and chief executive officer at Baptist Health, has announced his retirement effective April 15, 2013. Smith is a 37-year administrator of one of Kentucky’s largest healthcare systems and has led the organization since 1995.

The announcement was made recently during Baptist Health’s quarterly board meeting. A Baptist Health board search committee is working to evaluate qualified candidates for Smith’s successor.

“The person chosen to follow Tommy Smith will step into a coveted leadership position at the helm of one of the Commonwealth’s most successful healthcare companies. That’s due – in large part – to the integrity, quiet determination and consistent vision set forth by Tommy Smith,” said Baptist Health Board Chairman Frank “Rusty” Purdy. “Our primary goal in selecting a successor is to find someone who can carry forward the Baptist culture that is at the core of our success, and build on the incredibly strong foundation that readies us for a promising future.”

Smith has taken Baptist Health from a $400 million company to one with more than $1.6 billion in net revenue. Having led three of its five owned hospitals (Baptist Health Lexington from 1980-1984; Baptist Health Louisville from 1984-1995; and Baptist Health La Grange – then Tri-County Baptist – from 1993-1995), he brought a working knowledge of hospitals’ challenges and important contributions to his role as system CEO.

In recent years, Smith has expanded Baptist Health’s state presence by partnering with Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown (since 1997) and Baptist Health Richmond, both under management agreements. Baptist has grown its physician network to more than 400 employed physicians and more than 1,600 independent physicians.

Smith will remain actively involved in his remaining months as president and CEO in preparation for a smooth transition. “Tommy Smith is leaving this fine organization in the capable hands of his leadership team, board and the thousands of valued employees across Kentucky. We are grateful for Tommy’s leadership and service over the years,” Purdy said.

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Kentucky's Baptist Health, headquartered in Louisville, owns seven acute-care hospitals with more than 1,650 licensed beds in Louisville, Lexington, Paducah, Corbin, La Grange, Madisonville and Richmond, and manages Hardin Memorial, a 300-bed acute-care hospital in Elizabethtown.