Kurt Johnson is retiring as president of Ingalls Memorial Hospital after nearly four decades as a health care administrator and leader. His last day will be June 30.
Johnson dedicated more than 30 years of his career to Ingalls, joining the organization as vice president for administration in 1987 and later taking on the expanded roles of chief operating officer in 1994, then president and CEO in July 2000.
Johnson began his career as a hospital administrator for American Medical International, working at hospitals in Florida and California.
"When I joined the Ingalls team in 1987, I set a personal goal of helping to build upon the legacy of industrialist Frederick Ingalls, who opened our hospital in Harvey in 1923 to care for people from all walks of life,” Johnson said. “I am very proud that Ingalls is a regional leader in offering community-based services, especially to those in need.”
Johnson and his leadership team anticipated the evolution of hospitals into expanded outpatient services and continued to transform Ingalls from one hospital in Harvey into a community health system. Under his leadership, Ingalls continued to build a comprehensive ambulatory network in southern Chicago, with outpatient care centers in Tinley Park, Flossmoor, Calumet City, Crestwood and South Holland.
Beginning in 2015, Johnson led Ingalls to pursue an integrated health delivery system with the University of Chicago Medicine to enhance care throughout Chicago’s South Side and Southland region. The merger was officially completed in late September 2016.
“This partnership underscores our shared values in quality, innovation, superior outcomes and commitment to the communities we serve," Johnson said at the time. "It will enable Ingalls to continue to reinvest in our existing clinical facilities, expand our outpatient services and bring innovative new technologies to patients at a much faster pace."
Ingalls and UChicago Medicine have made significant progress toward integrating services, from improved patient flow and referrals to growth in oncology, cardiovascular, psychiatric, orthopedics, ophthalmology and primary services.
“Such growth is helping our patients and the communities we serve to have greater and easier access to a continuum of care and our collective services, and such synergies help to ensure our health system can serve patients and the communities for generations to come,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, dean and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Chicago. “This progress could not have been possible without the partnership and collaboration of Kurt. It has been a pleasure to get to know him as a health care leader committed to serving patients, employees and the community.”
Johnson and Polonsky will be developing an interim leadership plan for Ingalls in the coming weeks.