Polk recognizes former St. Luke’s CEO Ken Shull

Published 12:50 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

The Polk County Board of Commissioners honored retired St. Luke’s Hospital CEO Ken Shull with a proclamation during its Monday, Aug. 22 meeting. 

Commissioner Ted Owens introduced the proclamation by saying when he was on the hospital board in the early 1990s, he felt the chances of St. Luke’s Hospital surviving were very slim.

“However, after changes were made and a person by the name of Ken Shull was brought in to oversee the operation of the hospital, it did not only survive, it is now in the black,” said Owens. “I know Ken had the support of a board that has varied experiences and expertise and good competent employees. I also know that it takes a leader with knowledge, experience, vision and tenacity to take a near failing operation to a successful one and Ken Shull has done that for St. Luke’s Hospital. Thank you Ken for your outstanding work.”

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Shull was hired by St. Luke’s Hospital in late 2009 through Carolinas HealthCare System. He retired in July after working in the healthcare industry for 43 years.

“I appreciate this very much,” Shull told commissioners. “It’s been an honor to be here.”

Shull said he’s worked with a lot of great people, had a great board and great staff.

“I’ve been very privileged and blessed to be part of this,” Shull continued. “It’s a wonderful community.”

Shull added that he’s going to stay in the area for his retirement.

Following is the proclamation county commissioners unanimously approved in appreciation of Ken Shull:

WHEREAS, Ken A. Shull joined St. Luke’s Hospital in November 2009 after a nationwide search for a new chief executive officer capable of leading the critical access hospital through increased challenges for the healthcare industry; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Shull came to St. Luke’s Hospital through a management agreement with Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Shull focused his efforts on the stability and success of the 35-bed not-for-profit community hospital, and worked tirelessly to improve the quality and reputation of healthcare services available in Polk County and the Carolina Foothills; and

WHEREAS, over the past six years St. Luke’s Hospital has improved its operating margin after 14 years of financial loss and patient satisfaction and quality scores have steadily climbed; and

WHEREAS, under Mr. Shull’s leadership a $6.5 million orthopedic patient wing and state-of-the-art rehabilitation center opened in January 2014; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Shull was honored by being named the Carolinas Foothills Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year in 2015; and

WHEREAS, following a 43-year career in the healthcare industry, Mr. Shull retired from St. Luke’s Hospital in July 2106.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that the Polk County Board of Commissioners does hereby express appreciation for Mr. Shull’s tenure at St. Luke’s Hospital and wishes him all the best in his retirement.