Kona Community Hospital names new CEO

  • James Lee

Kona Community Hospital has a new regional CEO starting next month.

James “Jim” Lee will assume the position on Aug. 10, filling a role that interim CEO Jay Kreuzer has held since April after coming out of retirement after his replacement, Anna Chiotti, went on leave just two months into the job.

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Lee will oversee operations and management of the 94-bed, full-service acute care hospital in Kealakekua, which employs 540 staff members and 100 medical providers.

“Jim has a solid track record of bringing together employees and building a culture centered on patient experience and quality care,” said Hawaii Health Systems Corporation West Hawaii Region Board Chairman Frank Sayre, DDS. “His leadership will be invaluable in reaching our long-term goals and vision for Kona Community Hospital and improving access to high quality, patient-focused health care in our community.”

Most recently, Lee served as interim hospital administrator at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center on Oahu, according to Kona Community Hospital. Under his leadership, the hospital maintained excellent ratings related to patient satisfaction, quality and safety, including an “A” rating for Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade, a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a Stroke Gold Plus award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and Healthgrades’ Outstanding Patient Experience award.

Before focusing his career in health care administration, Lee spent 10 years in management consulting, first with Deloitte, then with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He has served in various leadership positions at hospitals and health organizations throughout the New York region, including New York University Langone Medical Center, Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital and Westchester Medical Center in New York.

Lee attended Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics. He received his Master of Business Administration with a focus in health care administration and finance from Cornell University, S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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He is an active member and former board member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and also served as chair of the organization’s Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum.

In his spare time, Lee enjoys snorkeling, playing golf, cooking and traveling with his wife and two daughters.

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