Updated: January 4, 2014 6:16AM
Franciscan St. James Health has named Arnie Kimmel as the hospital system’s new chief executive officer, according to a press release from the health care provider.
Kimmel has extensive experience at reversing the fortunes of struggling health systems across the United States by building stronger physician relationships and optimizing hospital processes while improving their financial outlook, the release said.
In the Chicago area, Kimmel previously was CEO of MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, which went from annual losses of $20 million to break-even in just 12 months under Kimmel, the release said.
“Arnie Kimmel’s record speaks for itself,” Kevin Leahy, president and CEO of Franciscan Alliance, the parent of Franciscan St. James, said in the release. “We sought an individual with Arnie’s credentials and track record at Franciscan St. James. He is the leader this health system needs to navigate the successful restructuring that began several months ago.”
Kimmel also is a former CEO of Catholic Health Partners, a three-hospital system on Chicago’s North Side.
At both MetroSouth and Catholic Health Partners, Kimmel rescued hospitals on the verge of closure, the release said.
Kimmel also was CEO of Mercy Memorial Hospital in Michigan, as well as Brackenridge, Spohn and Children’s Hospitals in Texas. Most recently he was senior vice president of development for Prime Healthcare Services.
“I am excited to begin work at Franciscan St. James,” Kimmel said in the release. “This is a health system with a proud history. My intention is to work to provide an even brighter future. I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get busy. We have a great deal of work to do.”
Franciscan St. James Health includes both its Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields hospitals, and its Franciscan Physician Network and Specialty Physicians of Illinois, with offices in Chicago Heights, Frankfort, Homewood, Matteson and Olympia Fields, the release said.
The Franciscan Alliance said in June that the hospitals need new owners or investors, citing significant losses and lack of a company presence in Illinois.
In September, the hospitals announced they were laying off 125 workers as inpatient admissions continue to decline.
The Franciscan Alliance, based in Mishawaka, Ind., owns the two hospitals and 11 in Indiana.