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Tommy J. Smith, retired Baptist Health CEO, dies

Tommy J. Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2018) — Tommy J. Smith, retired president and CEO at Baptist Health from 1995-2013, died early Thursday, Baptist Health announced in a news release Friday. He was 74.

Smith retired April 15, 2013 after a 37-year career with Baptist Health. The Baptist Healthcare System Inc. rebranded in 2012 as Baptist Health.

“We are saddened by the death of a man whose quiet determination and consistent vision led the way for Baptist Health to expand its mission and provide quality care close to home for thousands of Kentuckians,” said Allen Rudd, chairman of the Baptist Health Board of Directors.

Under his leadership, Baptist Healthcare went from a $400 million company to one with more than $1.6 billion in net revenue.

Having led three of its five owned hospitals (Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington from 1980-1984; Baptist Hospital East from 1984-1995; and Baptist Hospital Northeast – then Tri-County Baptist – from 1993-1995), he brought a working knowledge of hospitals’ challenges and important contributions to his role as system CEO.

It was also under his direction that Baptist Healthcare began expanding its state presence by partnering with Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown (since 1997), Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center in Richmond, and Trover Health System in Madisonville, all under management agreements. The Richmond and Madisonville hospitals joined the Baptist Health family in 2012.

Baptist also grew its physician network to more than 400 employed physicians and more than 1,600 independent physicians.

Visitation will be noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at Pearson’s on Breckinridge Lane with a memorial service at noon on Monday, May 21 at Broadway Baptist Church.