OLBH announces retirement of chief medical officer

Published 5:57 am Saturday, August 24, 2019

RUSSELL —  Officials with Bon Secours Kentucky Health System have announced that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Chief Medical Officer, John Darnell, MD, will retire effective Feb. 15, 2020.

“While I am sad to know that a leader of Dr. Darnell’s caliber is leaving us, I’m pleased that his decision to retire will mean that he can spend more time with his wonderful family, including his wife, three children and eight grandchildren,” said Jason Asic, Interim President, Bon Secours Kentucky Health System. “Dr. Darnell will be transitioning his duties over the next six months and we will announce plans to fill his role in the new year.”

Darnell earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Louisville in 1980 and has been a beloved fixture in Ashland since 1983, serving first as a family practice physician for 27 years before taking on roles as a hospitalist, physician advisor and OLBH Chief Medical Officer.

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His many responsibilities at OLBH and Bon Secours Kentucky Health System include leadership of the Medical Staff Office; hospital-based physicians; Diabetes & Wound Care Center; Clinical Dietetics; ConnectCare; sleep, respiratory and neurology services; rehabilitation services; outpatient cardiopulmonary services; OLBH Pediatric Rehabilitation; Firm Fitness; laboratory; retail pharmacy;  Information Systems and Services and Kentucky GoodHelp ACO/Population Health.

Additionally, he served on the Bellefonte Physician Services Board of Directors and was the Research Accountable Executive for OLBH.

“His loss will be felt not only here in Ashland but also across the Bon Secours Mercy Health system, where he was a member of the Clinical Executive Management Team, Safety and Reliability Council, Acute Prioritization Council and IT Investment Council,” said Erin Fries, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Mercy Health Mid-American Group.