DeKalb Health’s directors today announced they have named Fred Price president and CEO. He begins the position at the independent, non-profit Auburn hospital on Jan. 21.
Former CEO Kirk Ray resigned his position on Aug. 31. DeKalb Health officials have not revealed publicly the reason behind Ray’s abrupt departure.
Price, who has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry, was CEO of Monroe Hospital in Bloomington until September. He led that health care provider for 4 1/2 years. Price rose through that ranks at Monroe, previously serving as vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.
The North Carolina native earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Alan Middleton, chairman of DeKalb Health’s board of directors, praised Price as “a capable, focused, approachable leader who is forward-thinking and easily connects with all levels of an organization.”
“We are confident his expertise, enthusiasm and proven accomplishments in leadership, organizational development and strategic growth will serve DeKalb Health and our community well,” Middleton said in a statement.
Price, a married father of four, will lead more than 525 employees and report to the board of directors.
Under his leadership, Monroe Hospital earned high marks for patient satisfaction and safety, including an “A” grade in June 2012 by The Leapfrog Group. The independent national non-profit organization scores hospitals from A to F on safety by reviewing public data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.
Price, who was president and CEO of Monroe Hospital and Monroe Primary Care, acknowledged the “dedication and effort” of the staff.
“As important as patient safety and quality care are to our community, so is being transparent in our journey to the point where patient safety is our highest priority,” he said at that time in a statement. “Now the real work begins in maintaining and improving the processes that granted this honor and making sure that we make every effort to stay there.”
Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that 77 percent of Monroe Hospital’s 2011 in-patients would “definitely” recommend the hospital to family and friends.
That patient satisfaction score surpassed a 73 percent average for Indiana hospitals and a 70 percent overall average for U.S. hospitals.