Home » Baptist Health Foundation Hardin announces leadership changes

Baptist Health Foundation Hardin announces leadership changes

Prather will serve as chair emeritus, Bowers to lead board

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Baptist Health Foundation Hardin officials voted on a board leadership change. The board approved the transition of longstanding Chair Joe Prather to chair emeritus. Vice-Chair Mike Bowers will chair the 25-person board of directors.

Prather served seven years as chair, leading the Foundation from its 2015 reorganization to today. Throughout that time, the Foundation raised more than $7 million for Baptist Health Hardin and provided strong leadership and resources to the healthcare system. During his tenure, the Foundation secured funding to fully equip a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), create a pediatric therapy playground unlike any in Central Kentucky, improve benefits for cancer patients, launch a pet therapy program, improve and expand sexual assault nurse examiner services and more.

“Hardin Memorial Health, and now Baptist Health Hardin’s growth and improvements over the past decade, are exemplary,” said Prather. “What a privilege to work closely with Hardin’s outstanding leaders to make lasting changes that benefit all Central Kentuckians. My time on the Foundation board has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my public career. I am thankful I can continue as chair emeritus, especially with the announcement of the new outpatient medical pavilion coming in 2024.”

Prather will serve on the board, advise Bowers and the officers, and continue leading the nominating committee.

Baptist Health Hardin President Dennis Johnson praised Prather’s leadership and commitment.

“Senator Prather has been a mentor and confidant over the years,” Johnson said. “Whether it was advice when navigating difficult situations or encouragement when COVID-19 struck, Joe always shared his expertise. He helped us set the right strategy for the Foundation and then made sure we executed it and achieved our goals. Most importantly, he put a succession plan in motion that resulted in Mike Bowers as his replacement.”

Bowers serves on the Baptist Health Hardin Board of Directors and holds leadership positions on several other regional boards.

“As Baptist Health continues to invest in our hospital, our Foundation and donors can amplify those dollars and improve the patient experience,” Bowers said. “Joe taught us to stay true to our mission when he said, ‘The hospital bakes the cake, and our Foundation adds the icing.’  We can look forward to adding lots of icing in the coming years.”

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