Rarey to retire from hospital

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Carroll County Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Kanute Rarey will retire from the post he has held for the past five years just after the new year.

Rarey, who became the hospital’s CEO in November 2007, will continue to serve through Jan. 4, 2013, to allow the board of directors to search for a new individual to lead the hospital and its physician practices in Carrollton, Bedford and Warsaw.

“Serving as the CEO of Carroll County Memorial Hospital has been a wonderful experience that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life,” Rarey said. “I have had an opportunity here to work with a great group of physicians and with a wonderful group of caring people who are committed to the best care possible for our community.”

The hospital’s board of directors accepted his decision to retire with regret, according to a news release. Board members thanked Rarey for his five years of service to the hospital and for the efforts he has made to improve healthcare during his tenure.

The board wishes Kanute the best of luck and fulfillment in his future plans,” said Dennis Raisor, in-coming president of the hospital’s board of directors.

The board of directors are pleased that Rarey will continue in his role during the search for a new CEO, pointing to the need to continue with management of the hospital and physician practices operations. Additionally, the board noted that CCMH has many on-going projects including new service expansion, implementation of a new electronic medical record system, specialty physician recruitment and community outreach program development.

“I have been in the healthcare profession for over 40 years as a chief executive in administration and as a clinician, educator, corporate manager and independent business owner,” Rarey said. “I feel it is time to provide more attention to new family needs and to explore work that provides me more flexibility in my time to pursue other interests.” 

Rarey said he wanted to give the board ample notice of his retirement plans so they can locate a replacement and ensure a smooth transition.

“The board has established a search committee and will be looking for a replacement immediately,” Raisor said.  He said the search may take several months to complete and get a new CEO in place.

In reflecting on his five years at CCMH, Rarey pointed to several major accomplishments that have taken place under this leadership.

Rarey said the hospital completed the complex process of transitioning from an organization managed by an outside company, Associated Health Services, to an independent not-for-profit community hospital.

Another top accomplishment was the $250,000 fund raising campaign to buy new patient furniture for the hospital and a $500,000 remodeling and refurnishing of the 25-bed medical surgical area of the hospital was completed. 

The following are other notable projects:

• Expanding and renovating the specialty physician center and expanding and reusing new space in the hospital for the cardiac diagnostic and rehabilitation center and the ultrasound test center. 

• Launching of a new group program for seniors with problems of anxiety and depression and expanded the hospital’s sleep study program.

• Recruiting four new family physicians and two nurse practitioners to serve the Carroll, Trimble, Henry, Owen and Gallatin areas the hospital serves. He also recruited a new occupational medicine physician to serve area business and industry and added specialist physicians in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and obstetric and gynecology to the hospital’s specialty center. 

• Creation of programs in telemedicine and tele-psychiatry are also underway as well as the plan for a new electronic medical record system in the hospital and four physician practices. 

During the past two years, Rarey said he has worked closely with the CCMH board and administration to develop a new clinical affiliation with Louisville-based Norton Healthcare that is expected to aid the hospital with new services, added specialty physicians, quality initiatives, and expanded patient volumes over the next several years. He said this will make CCMH part of a network that can remain more competitive with large health care systems as it remains an independent hospital.

Rarey has been an active leader in community organizations including the Carrollton Rotary Club, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Carroll County Three Rivers Public Health District Health and Safety Committee. 

He was a board member of the Carroll County Community Economic Development Corporation and a member of the CCCDC Quality of Life Committee and the Industrial Committee. He also served Dow Corning and Arkema Community Action Program and the community-based Coalition for a Drug Free Carroll County. 

Additionally, he served as Vice Chairman of the Carroll County Local Emergency Planning Committee.  

Working with the Carroll County Fiscal Court, Rarey also served on the regional board of the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. He had served on the Board of the Kentucky Chapter for the American College of Healthcare Executives and was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Kentucky Hospital Association.

Rarey said he will sincerely miss all the great people in the hospital, physician practices and community he has gotten to work with each day and hopes that he has made a contribution to improving health care services to the families and employers in our community. 

He emphasized that he looks forward to working hard during his remaining months on the job to improve the hospital’s financial situation and complete many other projects that are in process at this time. He said he assured the board of directors that he cares deeply about the success of the hospital and will do whatever he can to ensure a smooth transition to a new leader.

Rarey said he has a lot of plans for his retirement.

“I plan to explore volunteer work with the Disaster Response section of the American Red Cross, pick up on some long-planned travel I have wanted to do with my wife, Kathy,” he said, “spend more time with children and grandchildren and do some short-term interim assignments in administration with small rural hospitals around the country.”