ASHLAND — Longtime KDMC Team Member and Chief Operating Officer Kristie Whitlatch has been named President/CEO of King's Daughters Health System. She is taking over for Fred Jackson, who is retiring.
"Being from the community, I know just how much KDMC is a part of our life," Whitlatch said. "I am humbled by the faith our Board has placed in me and our Team. King's Daughters Health System is a unique treasure in our community. We are an independent system where all decisions are made here, and all reinvestment is made locally. Our Team will continue our 114-year journey of excellence."
David Jones, chairman of the Health System's Board of Trustees, said the position is a permanent one.
"Kristie is one of our own, having been with the Health System since 1987, serving in a successive series of nursing and leadership roles," he said. "It's particularly satisfying to have her lead the Health System as an Ashland native, and the region's first female President/CEO of a healthcare institution. Her instincts and business acumen are stellar. We look forward to her 'taking the reins' and leading the Health System into exciting new territory."
Whitlatch graduated from Boyd County High School and earned her R.N. degree from Ashland Community College. She went on to earn her bachelor's of science in nursing degree from Bellarmine College in Louisville, and her master's of science in nursing from the University of Phoenix. Recently, Whitlatch has completed several intensive courses in finance, mergers and acquisitions and executive development through the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Executive Education program.
In 2011, she was named Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Health System. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Service Line Development and the Heart and Vascular Center. She lives in Ashland with her husband Jay and is the mother of three children: Andy, Cody and Danielle. Kristie’s father, Charles Flannery, has been a volunteer for the organization for more than 15 years.
Jackson is retiring after 17 years leading the region's largest healthcare provider. Under his direction the Health System expanded services most in demand by patients, including cardiac care, primary care and orthopaedics. The Health System also grew geographically, establishing primary care and specialty offices in 50 locations, including Prestonsburg, Ky., Jackson, Ohio, and many more. Jones said, "We wish him and his wife Jayme well. His accomplishments and vision have served the Health System very well."