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CEO Paul Korth announces retirement

Chief Executive Officer Paul Korth announces his retirement today, Wednesday, Feb. 1, after 24 years at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, having served 10 of those years as CEO.

Starting his healthcare career 36 years ago as chief financial officer at Clay County Hospital and then Livingston Regional Hospital, Korth came to CRMC in 1999 as CFO and was later appointed interim CEO by the hospital board of trustees in 2012. He was officially named CEO just a few short months later in 2013.

During his time as CEO, Korth has led the hospital toward great success as a regional referral medical center, having invested more than $50 million in capital projects that include new construction and renovation projects, numerous equipment purchases, and systems upgrades.

“Paul has been an instrumental part of our medical center’s success over the past 24 years,” states Dr. Ernie Buchanan, family practitioner and chairman of the CRMC Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the entire board of trustees, I’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to Paul for his years of service to the medical center. He has provided exemplary leadership to CRMC, and his dedication and commitment to high quality patient care has ensured that the hospital is well positioned to continue serving this community for years to come.”

In addition to his responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the 269-bed medical center, Korth also oversees Cookeville Regional Medical Group and the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation. He currently serves on the Tennessee Hospital Association Board of Directors, including one year as chairman. He was recently elected to the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board as a state delegate. He also serves on the Tennessee Perinatal Advisory Committee. He previously was appointed by Governor Bill Lee to serve two 3-year terms on the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency Board of Directors.

“It’s been my honor to serve as CEO of Cookeville Regional Medical Center,” states Korth. “The decision to retire has not been an easy one, but I feel like it’s the right time. I’m looking forward to spending more time with family and more time on the golf course. I want to thank all the people I have worked with at CRMC over the past 24 years. My tenure as CEO of CRMC has been the most rewarding time of my career. The incredible staff and providers have continually worked together to provide the exceptional care that the people of the Upper Cumberland deserve. Even when we were faced with great adversity from the tornado in 2020 to the serious challenges we endured through the pandemic, our team at CRMC remained steadfast in their dedication to providing excellent patient care. I want to especially thank all the city council and board of trustee members for their support over the years. Without all these people, we would not be where we are today.

“I am so proud of all the areas of growth, from the expansion of facilities, capital equipment purchases, new technology to the additional services that were brought to the community. CRMC is all about the people and seeing the hospital grow from about 700 employees to 2,500 and physicians from about 100 to almost 200 lets me know that I’m leaving the hospital better off than when I started.”

Korth further stated “I’m confident that the board of trustees will be able to find someone that will value the many unique qualities of our medical center and uphold that community feel while providing state-of-the-art services with high quality and compassionate healthcare.”

Korth’s official retirement date is May 1st. The medical center’s Board of Trustees will meet at its regularly scheduled meeting in February to appoint an interim CEO that will be in place as of March 1. Between that date and his official retirement date, Korth will assist with the transition of CEO duties and responsibilities to the interim-CEO selected by the board.