UF Health CEO not tapped for south Florida job

A south Florida public hospital system did not select UF Health Shands’ Ed Jimenez as its new CEO, picking a leader from a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hospital instead.

The South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners had chosen Jimenez as one of its four finalists to take the reins of the Memorial Healthcare System, centered in Hollywood, Florida.

Jimenez first interviewed virtually for the position in March and then completed an in-person interview on April 18-19, according to board of commissioners records.

But on Friday, the board selected K. Scott Wester, the current president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, to succeed Aurelio Fernandez, who is retiring from Memorial. Memorial Healthcare runs six not-for-profit hospitals with 14,000 employees, moderately larger than UF Health’s 11,000 employees.

The other two finalists for the position included Jonathan W. Curtright, the CEO of the University of Missouri Health Care system, and Dr. Will Jackson, the president and CEO of Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Wester was chosen ultimately for his personality and his strategic vision.

“I felt that Mr. Wester was probably a little more outstanding than some of the other three,” said Jose Baulto, a board commissioner, according to the Times. “I felt he was just so natural, so genuine, clearly qualified and felt like he would immediately be able to step in and meld into our culture and guide the organization successfully.”

Jimenez has led UF Health Shands as CEO since 2014. From 2010 to 2014 he served as chief operating officer and executive vice president.

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