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DeKalb hospital chief quits

No reason given; led multimillion-dollar expansion

Ray

Kirk Ray, president and CEO of DeKalb Health, has resigned effective immediately, the hospital’s board announced Friday.

No reason was given for his departure, and hospital officials didn’t return multiple messages seeking information about Ray’s future plans.

The Fort Wayne native joined the independent Auburn hospital in December 2009 at age 40.

Before that, Ray was CEO of St. Joseph Hospital, part of the Lutheran Health Network, for three years. He oversaw the $7 million renovation of the burn and wound center and an update to its intensive care unit.

At the time of the announcement that he was going to DeKalb Health – then called DeKalb Memorial Hospital – Ray said he liked the hospital’s independent status and looked forward to influencing its mission.

Ray also said then that overseeing a smaller hospital might help him strike a better balance between professional responsibilities and commitment to his young family, which included a wife and three young children.

Frank Caprino chaired the hospital’s board at that time.

He said then that Ray stood out from other candidates because of his commitment to quality, interest in the community and desire to keep the organization independent.

Friday’s announcement said the hospital’s board continues its commitment to keeping the health care provider an independent non-profit.

During Ray’s tenure, DeKalb Health officials rebranded the organization and invested millions expanding its emergency, imaging and diagnostic centers.

The 47-bed hospital developed a sports medicine program and won accreditation for treating patients suffering chest pain.

Alan Middleton, the hospital board’s chairman, on Friday said the organization appreciated Ray’s contribution.

“We wish him the best for the future,” Middleton said in a written statement.

Kelly Dunham, vice president of support services & compliance, will serve as interim CEO.

The search for a new CEO has begun, hospital officials said.

sslater@jg.net

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