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Business

  • Jobless rate falls to 4.9%
    The bleeding stopped last month.Unemployment in metro Fort Wayne declined to 4.9 percent in August, compared with 6 percent in July – the third consecutive month the jobless rate fell.
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    John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, will lead a delegation of representatives from Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. to Japan.
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    Metro Fort Wayne unemployment declined in August to 4.
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At a glance
Kenneth Jones
Title: CEO of St. Joseph Hospital
Age: 35
Born: Atlanta
Education: Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, bachelor’s degree in biology; University of Minnesota, master’s degrees in health care administration and business administration
Career: CEO of The Orthopedic Hospital; CEO of Heekin Orthopedic Specialists in Jacksonville, Fla.; numerous administrative and leadership positions at hospitals in Florida and Georgia
Family: Married to Hope, father of two sons, ages 7 and 3
Just for fun: Jones enjoys golf, basketball and keeping active with his family

Hospital names new CEO

Leader sees St. Joseph as part of downtown renewal

Jones

Lutheran Health Network has named Kenneth Jones the next chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital, officials announced Friday. He starts in the position July 28.

The Georgia native moved to Fort Wayne to become CEO of The Orthopedic Hospital, also part of Lutheran’s network, in March 2013.

Since then, Jones has become involved in several local nonprofit organizations. He is on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Science Central, Turnstone and the Fort Wayne Urban League.

Jones also was a member of Leadership Fort Wayne’s 2013-14 class. The yearlong program introduces newcomers to the community, its challenges and opportunities.

The CEO is eager to become personally involved in the city center’s renaissance. St. Joseph Hospital should be part of the area’s economic development discussion, he said, and should help attract new employers, who typically are concerned about the quality of an area’s school and health care systems.

“I don’t think you can underestimate how important it is for a growing central city to have a strong, full-service hospital and vice versa,” he said.

Brian Bauer, Lutheran Health Network’s CEO, said Jones is taking over the 191-bed downtown hospital just as the area is booming with several commercial, retail and residential projects now under construction – or about to be.

“Kenneth’s experience as a leader in both hospital and physician practice settings lends itself well to the opportunities he’ll encounter running a facility located in an area that’s expected to receive an influx of new residents in the very near future,” Bauer said in a statement.

Jones, who holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification, is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

He is replacing Eric Looper, who came to St. Joseph Hospital in November 2010. Looper recently accepted a CEO position in his native Texas.

sslater@jg.net

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