UF Health Jacksonville CEO dies in accident

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Leon Haley Jr., MD, CEO and dean of UF Health Jacksonville (Fla.), died unexpectedly July 24 in a jet ski accident. He was 56.

"Dr. Haley was a strong, inspirational leader and beloved son, father, friend and colleague. We ask that you keep his family in your prayers and thoughts," UF Health said in a statement July 24.

Dr. Haley died after being ejected from a jet ski in the Palm Beach Inlet's South Jetty, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said, according to Action News Jax.

Dr. Haley was a board-certified emergency medicine physician. He became CEO of UF Health Jacksonville in 2018 and was instated as dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville in 2017. Prior to his tenure as dean of the medical school, Dr. Haley served in a number of leadership roles at Emory Healthcare, the Emory School of Medicine and Grady Health System, all in Atlanta.

He was a leader in his region's COVID-19 response. The hospital set a new record for COVID-19 patients on July 21, with 136 COVID-19 patients. The previous record was set in January at 125.

He was also a former chair of America's Essential Hospitals Institute board of directors, most recently serving as a member of its association board. In a July 25 statement, the association said, "He had deep roots in America's Essential Hospitals, including as a graduate of our Fellows Program, which develops rising leaders in member hospitals. His dedication to achieving the best outcomes for all defined his career and his role with this association."

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