JFL's Departing Leader Already Named CEO at Kearney Regional Medical Center in Nebraska

Koch’s departure from Juan F. Luis Hospital quickly followed by announcement of his new position as CEO of Kearney Regional Medical Center

  • Janeka Simon
  • June 07, 2024

Douglas Koch, center, provides tour of JFL North following a grand opening event on March 7, 2023. To his left is Darryl Smalls, executive director of the Territorial Hospital Redevelopment Team, and on his right, Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach. By. ERNICE GILBERT, V.I. CONSORTIUM

One day after Chief Executive Officer Douglas Koch announced his resignation from the Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix, a medical center in Nebraska has announced that the healthcare executive will be assuming the top job in that facility.

Mr. Koch will begin his responsibilities as Kearney Regional Medical Center CEO on August 5, according to a news report from KSNB Local 4. On Wednesday, in a resignation letter seen by the Consortium, Mr. Koch said that he was leaving the territory to “relocate back to the Midwest to be closer to my family.”

News of Mr. Koch’s imminent departure came as a blow to local health officials. JFL Board chair Chris Finch, who also chairs the Territorial Hospital Board of Directors, called Mr. Koch’s resignation “disappointing,” saying that officials had been looking forward to working with him for “years to come.” He spoke of Mr. Koch’s tenure in glowing terms, saying that the CEO had “recently received a stellar personnel evaluation from board members.”

Mr. Koch’s new employers are reportedly just as excited to receive him as territorial leaders are sad to see him go. “Doug’s midwestern roots, education and vast operational experience are an ideal fit to join the Bryan Health administrative leadership team,” Bryan Health, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Woodrich is reported to have said. Bryan Health is the owner of the Kearney Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Koch’s previous work experience has placed him in leadership positions in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois before he came to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Like his work on transitioning to JFL’s temporary modular structure, Mr. Koch will join Kearney Regional as it embarks on expanding its inpatient facilities and constructing a cancer center. “Doug is someone who likes to see communities thrive,” Woodrich reportedly said about his incoming CEO. “He will be an outstanding leader for Kearney Regional Medical Center.”‌

Meanwhile, JFL officials must now begin the hunt for a new CEO of their own.

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