KDMC names first woman CEO

By Wayne Allen

December 18, 2013

Wayne Allen

Common Staff Writer

On Friday morning King’s Daughters Health System (KDHS) made the announcement that Kristie Whitlatch has been named its new President and CEO, the first woman to serve in this position.

Whitlatch will be succeeding Fred Jackson who is retiring as President and CEO after 17 years.

In released information about Jackson from KDHS, “under his direction the health system expanded services most in demand by patients, including cardiac care, primary care and orthopaedics. The Health System also grew geographically, establishing primary care and specialty offices in 50 locations, including Prestonsburg, Ky., Jackson, Ohio, and many more.”

Under Jacksons leadership King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio was opened earlier this year in Portsmouth,

According to,, some of the features of King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio include, 71,350 total square feet, Four stories (Ground - Third Floor), 10-acre campus at the intersection of Scioto Trail and Argonne Lane. Three operating suites, Hybrid operating room, Cardiac catheterization lab, Two endoscopy suites, 25 pre- and post-op beds, Nine-bed inpatient unit, One intensive care suite and many others.

Being from the community, I know just how much KDMC is a part of our life,” Whitlatch said in a released statement. “I am humbled by the faith our board has placed in me and our Team. King’s Daughters Health System is a unique treasure in our community. We are an independent system where all decisions are made here, and all reinvestment is made locally. Our Team will continue our 114-year journey of excellence.”

David Jones, Chairman of the Health System’s Board of Trustees, said in a released statement the position is a permanent one. “Kristie is one of our own, having been with the Health System since 1987, serving in a successive series of nursing and leadership roles. It’s particularly satisfying to have her lead the Health System as an Ashland native, and the region’s first female President/CEO of a healthcare institution. Her instincts and business acumen are stellar. We look forward to her ‘taking the reins’ and leading the Health System into exciting new territory.”

Whitlatch is a graduate of Boyd County High School and earned her R.N. degree from Ashland Community College. She went on to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree from Bellarmine College in Louisville, and a master’s of science in nursing from the University of Phoenix. Recently, Whitlatch has completed several intensive courses in finance, mergers and acquisitions and executive development through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Executive Education program.

Whitlatch had been serving as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Health System. Prior roles include Vice President of Service Line Development and the Heart and Vascular Center.

Whitlatch lives in Ashland with her husband Jay and is the mother of three children: Andy, Cody and Danielle. Kristie’s father, Charles Flannery, has been a volunteer for the organization for more than 15 years.

For more information about King’s Daughters Health System visit,

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.