James Lee is new Kona Hospital CEO

Kona Hospital has a new CEO.  James “Jim” Lee, most recently  interim hospital administrator at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center on Oahu, joins the organization on Monday, August 10.

Lee will oversee operations and management of the 94-bed, full-service acute care hospital, which employs 540 staff members and 100 medical providers.  Kona Hospital is part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation West Hawaii Region.

Lee is the third CEO this year.  Jay Kreuzer, Kona Hospital’s CEO for 8 years, was succeeded on January 2, 2020 by Anna Chiotti-White.  After two months on the job, Ms. Chiotti-White went on unpaid leave, for reasons never explained by the Kona Hospital Board.  Hawaii Health Systems Linda Rosen, MD, was brought in to be the interim CEO, and then on April 4, Kreuzer returned as interim CEO. Kreuzer had never fully stepped away from the hospital, as even after his retirement, he was contracted to assist with strategic planning.

Lee spent 10 years in management consulting, first with Deloitte, then with PricewaterhouseCoopers, before focusing his career in health care administration. He served in various leadership positions at hospitals and health organizations throughout the New York region, including New York University Langone Medical Center, Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital and Westchester Medical Center in New York.

“Jim has a solid track record of bringing together employees and building a culture centered on patient experience and quality care,” said WHR Board Chair, Frank Sayre, DDS. “His leadership will be invaluable in reaching our long-term goals and vision for Kona Community Hospital and improving access to high quality, patient-focused health care in our community.”

Lee attended Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics. He received his Master of Business Administration with a focus in health care administration and finance from Cornell University, S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management. He is an active member and former board member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and also served as chair of the organization’s Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum.

In his spare time, Lee enjoys snorkeling, playing golf, cooking and traveling with his wife and two daughters.

For an Island Conversations interview with former CEO Jay Kreuzer, recorded in late December, 2019 by host Sherry Bracken, about the capabilities of Kona Hospital and its affiliates–including Ali’i Health Center–click here.



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