Cook County health board names new CEO

  • By Alex Parker
  • Staff Writer
  • March 03, 2009 @ 11:27 AM

The Cook County Health and Hospitals System’s new CEO touts his ability to turn red ink into black and 35 years of experience in health care.

The health system’s independent board announced Monday night that William Foley would take the reins of the massive health care system, replacing interim CEO David Small.

Foley, slated to begin work in early May, joins the health system from Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, Calif., where he served as interim CEO. He was also a managing director with Wellspring Partners, a hospital consultancy.

William Foley

Foley’s resume includes numerous instances of helping hospitals reverse financial decline, and he takes over a county health system that is looking to eliminate nearly 1,000 jobs and recently was denied $14.2 million in funds from county commissioners.

As president and CEO of Provena Health in Mokena, Foley oversaw a system that operated at a $28.4 million loss in his first year of 2001. It grew to an operating gain of $1.4 million in 2002, and $24.5 in 2003.

Foley’s salary of $500,000 is far less than CEOs at other area hospitals and in the middle of the pack nationally, where CEOs of health systems in Tampa, Fla., Cleveland and Chattanooga, Tenn., make more.

County health system spokesman Marcel Bright says Foley, who has a master’s degree in hospital and health administration from Xavier University, is in Chicago today meeting with the heads of Stroger, Oak Forest and Provident hospitals.

Daily News Staff Writer Alex Parker covers public health. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 17