St. Francis Hospital names new CEO, she assumes post next month

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CORRECTION MADE 1-28-2020: This article was corrected to show that former CEO Dan Jones had been with the hospital for more than two years rather than slightly more than a year.

Less than a month after the chief executive officer left St. Francis Hospital, a new leader was announced on Monday.

Melody Trimble has been named CEO and will assume her duties effective Feb. 10.

Trimble replaces Dan Jones, who resigned In December and left his post earlier this month. Jones held the position for more than two years. Jerry Dooley, who has been serving as interim CEO while the hospital conducted a search.

“Melody is a talented healthcare executive who brings a sharp focus on quality and patient safety to her new role, as well as proven operations expertise and clear strategies for growth,” said Cherie Sibley, president of LifePoint Health’s Central Division, of which St. Francis is a part. “She is passionate about helping St. Francis find new ways to serve the community and advance its mission of Making Communities Healthier. I look forward to everything the dedicated team at St. Francis will accomplish under her leadership.”

Trimble comes to Columbus from Johnson City, Tenn. She was in a dual role, there, as CEO of Johnson City Medical Center and as vice president for Mountain States Health Alliance’s Washington County division, where she was responsible for several other facilities in the region, according to a release on the St. Francis Facebook page.

She formerly served in several roles for Health Management Associates, including as president of the organization’s Health Management Group, in Naples, Fla.; market CEO for Sparks Medical Center in Fort Smith, Ark.; market CEO for Venice Regional Medical Center in Venice, Fla.; and CEO of Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center (also a LifePoint Health facility) in Hartsville, S.C.

She takes over a hospital that has struggled financially since 2015. It was a local non-profit that experienced financial issues that were made public. The hospital was sold to LifePoint, a for-profit company on Dec. 31, 2015.

Trimble becomes the third CEO to lead St. Francis since it has been owned by the Tennessee-based company.

At the time Lifepoint purchased St. Francis, it was teetering on bankruptcy. LifePoint paid off a $210 million HUD-backed mortgage at the center of the financial issues.

Earlier this year, LifePoint announced a joint venture with Emory Healthcare of Atlanta.

“This joint venture offers great opportunities for Emory Healthcare, LifePoint Health, and St. Francis Hospital to advance health care delivery in the Columbus region,” Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare, said at the time of the announcement in a prepared statement. “Our organizations have a history of collaboration in Columbus, and we have discovered many shared priorities and common interests, including a commitment to ensuring that all people have access to quality care close to home. We continue to be impressed by the team at St. Francis and are excited to expand our relationship through this joint venture and advance this common ideal.”

Neither company has specified how that partnership will work.

A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Trimble earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, and a Master of Nursing from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

“St. Francis Hospital is a vital part of Columbus, and I am so honored to join this talented team as we pursue new and meaningful ways of Making Communities Healthier,” said Trimble. “The road ahead is filled with opportunities to enhance and expand our legacy of care in the communities we serve, and I look forward to embarking on this next chapter together.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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