Clark Regional Medical Center seeks to replace CEO

Clark Regional Medical Center officials said Tuesday that an interim executive has been appointed while they search for a chief executive to replace Kathy Love.

Love apparently is no longer with Clark Regional, although a news release issued by the Tennessee-based LifePoint, which operates the hospital, did not say when or why she left.

"Our policy is to maintain confidentiality on personnel matters," said LifePoint spokesman Diane Huggins. "All the information I'm able to share was in the press release."

Asked whether Love is still employed by LifePoint, Huggins said, "As I understand it, no."

Love won the 2011 CEO of the year award from LifePoint.

Joe Koch will be the interim executive for the Winchester hospital. He has been CEO of Bourbon Community Hospital in Paris since 2008. He also was chief operating officer of Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., for six years. Both are LifePoint hospitals.

LifePoint bought Clark Regional in 2010. It held a ribbon-cutting for the new $60 million, 79-bed hospital in March 2012.

In a news release, Tom Weiss, president of LifePoint Hospitals' continental division, said he thanked "former CEO Kathy Love for her leadership in getting the new hospital open and wish her well as she pursues other opportunities."

Clark Regional has more than 100 physicians and 400 employees. It operates a family medicine and immediate care center in Winchester, and a rural health clinic in Powell County.

LifePoint, founded in 1999, has 50 hospitals nationwide and more than $3.5 billion in annual revenues.

Love had moved to the Winchester hospital from Versailles' Bluegrass Community Hospital in 2010.