Former Kentucky hospital CEO Hank Wagner dead at 78; 'put Jewish Hospital on the world map'

Hank Wagner, former president and CEO of Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., has died at age 78, according to his obituary published on

Mr. Wagner died on March 4 in Naples, Fla., according to the obituary, which does not include a cause of death.

Mr. Wagner was named executive vice president of Jewish Hospital in 1972 and served as president and CEO for more than 30 years. 

Under his leadership, the hospital grew from a single facility to a regional network of 10 hospitals and outpatient facilities, according to the obituary. During his tenure, the hospital conducted Kentucky's first heart, lung, kidney, pancreas and liver transplants, among other medical advancements. 

"Through his three decades of vision and leadership, Hank Wagner put Jewish Hospital on the world map for leading edge medical care," Tom Miller, CEO of University of Louisville Health, said in a prepared statement shared with Becker's. "From first-in-the-world transplants, innovative cardiac procedures and building Frazier Rehab, he laid the foundation that UofL Health proudly continues today."

Ken Marshal, COO of UofL Health, who worked with Mr. Wagner on various projects, said: "Hank had an unmatched ability to bring a vision to life. Without him I don't believe Louisville healthcare would have had the positive accolades that we have seen over the years. His success lifted Louisville along the way."

Mr. Marshal said he also admired Mr. Wagner, who heavily influenced him in his career and empowered people to achieve medical milestones, all while staying focused on patient care. 

Read Mr. Wagner's full obituary here


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