Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Longtime hospital CEO to be transferred south

Bruce Jensen has led St. Luke’s Wood River for 8 years

Express Staff Writer

Bruce Jensen

St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center is set to lose its CEO of more than eight years.

In an administrative shuffle, Bruce Jensen is being transferred to Twin Falls to serve as interim vice president of operations. He will be responsible for planning the transition into the new $220 million St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center, scheduled to open in June 2011.

The Twin Falls' hospital's former CEO, John Kee, will take Jensen's position as CEO of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. Jensen's last day at the Wood River hospital will be Friday, April 9.

Jensen said that while Kee has been given a permanent position, his job is temporary and will last 15 to 18 months until the new Twin Falls hospital is up and running. He said his future is uncertain after that, but he'd like to stay with St. Luke's.

Jensen said the decision to transfer him was up to the St. Luke's Health System and the board of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

"They approached me about it," Jensen said, "and I said I'd be happy to go where they need me."

When asked about the reason for his transfer, Jensen said St. Luke's is one of the largest private employers in the state and needs to move its employees where they can best be used.

In a news release, health system President and CEO David C. Pate said, "Bruce's experience and expertise in health care operations will be critical for the successful and smooth transition that Magic Valley is undertaking with their move to a new facility."

Jensen said Kee is a "very appropriate" person to take his job, and the Wood River hospital should be in good hands, especially with the competent staff already here.

Pate echoed that sentiment.

"We are grateful that Bruce and his management team have positioned the hospital so well for the future," he said.

Trevon Milliard:

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