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Kootenai Health names new chief executive

Jon Ness, CEO, Kootenai Health
Jon Ness, CEO, Kootenai Health

Kootenai Health has named a Montana healthcare executive to replace longtime CEO Joe Morris, who is retiring.

Jon Ness is the chief operating officer at Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organization. It includes a 272-bed hospital, employs 240 physicians and has 3,400 employees serving eastern Montana and northern Wyoming.

Paul Anderson, chairman of the Kootenai Hospital District board of trustees, announced today that Ness accepted the position of Kootenai Health chief executive officer. Ness will begin work at Kootenai on Sept. 27.

Morris announced his retirement in January, and a search committee has been looking for his replacement.

“Jon Ness is a great choice for CEO,” Morris said in a press release. “He has the skills and background to build on our success and prepare Kootenai for the future. Of all the candidates interviewed, Jon is the best fit for Kootenai’s culture.”

Morris will work closely with Ness for a brief transition period and be available to complete projects and board commitments, and offer consultation, through May 2011, Kootenai said.

“Kootenai Health is an outstanding facility with a reputation for excellence,” Ness said in a statement. “I am pleased to become a part of the healthcare team that has accomplished so much, and my family is looking forward to joining the community.”

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