| Sarasota Herald-Tribune
VENICE – Community Health Systems Inc. named Kelly Enriquez as the new CEO of Venice Regional Bayfront Health on Friday morning.
Enriquez, who starts her new job on Nov. 9, will be responsible for the strategic and operational oversight of Venice Regional and Gulf Coast Medical Group.
Enriquez is chief operating officer at Lanwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida, a 380-bed facility operated by the East Florida division of Hospital Corporation of America.
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In Fort Pierce, Enriquez focused on service line development and hospital growth.
She is credited for the opening of a freestanding Emergency Department.
Prior to that, she served as CEO for Sebastian River Medical Center, a 154-bed facility owned by Dallas, Texas-based Steward Health Care System.
“Kelly brings experience to Venice Regional with a focus on patient-centered health care,” Lynn Joyner, chairman of the Venice Regional Bayfront Health Board of Trustees, said in a prepared statement. “We have very talented leaders, medical staff and co-workers. Together, we’ll continue to provide care and support for our patients and work to improve access to health care in our community.”
Enriquez replaced interim CEO Beryl Ramsey, who replaced Karen Fordham, who resigned her position in August, after spending roughly two years on the job.
Prior to her stint at Venice Regional Ramsey served as Operations Group adviser for Community Health Systems Inc., Venice Regional’s Franklin, Tennessee-based parent company.
Enriquez has more than 15 years of healthcare administration experience.
Enriquez has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern.
“Venice is a special place and I am looking forward to establishing roots in the community with my family,” she said in a prepared statement. “I am honored to have an opportunity to serve with a hospital that has been committed to providing care in the region for nearly 70 years.”
She takes over a hospital that had been expected to open a new 210-bed hospital campus on East Venice Avenue.
But it has yet to break ground at the proposed site.
The location was attractive because of easy access to Interstate 75 via the Jacaranda Boulevard exit.
The Sarasota County Commission tied its approval to the new site to a provision that the hospital had to pay to widen East Venice Avenue from the Jacaranda Roundabout to the hospital entrance, an estimated $5.7 million road-building project.
Since then – and in light of both Sarasota Memorial Health Care System breaking ground on a new hospital at the intersection of Laurel and Pinebrook roads and the abolishment of state Agency Health Care Administration approval for new hospital facilities – that campus has been in a holding pattern.
Venice Regional contracted with a national consultant in September, 2019, to help identify future population growth and polled existing patients and other stakeholders before announcing its future plans.
The since-abolished AHCA process tied Venice Regional to a specific ZIP code area for expansion.
CHS had spent the last year selling off a variety of hospitals in its portfolio. Most recently, in June, it sold Bayfront Health St. Petersburg to Orlando Health. That deal was expected to close at the end of last month.