Thomas W. Smith, former Ephraim McDowell Health leader, dies

June 06, 2004

Thomas W. Smith, who led Ephraim McDowell Health through a 20-year period of extraordinary growth and service, died Friday at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. He was 67.

Smith, of Riva Ridge Drive in Danville, joined EMRMC as president and chief executive officer in 1982, retiring in 2002. In those two decades Ephraim McDowell grew from a local hospital of 200 employees to a Central Kentucky health care giant.

"He took us from just a single hospital to a regional medical center to a health system," including three hospitals, a wellness center and McDowell Place for children, said Mary Begley, McDowell Health Foundation spokesperson.

"He was a very visionary person in terms of being a health care leader," said Clark Taylor, Smith's successor. "He was an extraordinary person, there's no doubt about that. A true leader."


After leaving Ephraim McDowell he formed his own consulting company, Thomas W. Smith & Associates Inc.

Born May 9, 1937, in Campellsville, he was the son of the late Samuel G. and Mary Lee Rice Smith.

Survivors include his wife, Malinda Parker Smith; three sons, Gregory T. Smith, Bradley W. Smith and Brentley P. Smith, all of Louisville; two brothers, Paul E. Smith and Howard L. Smith, both of Campbellsville; a sister, Mabel L. Petrey of Campbellsville; and seven grandchildren.

Services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church by the Rev. Tommy Valentine. Burial will be in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Monday at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church.

Memorials may go to Thomas W. Smith Rural Health Care Foundation, or to the Lexington Avenue Baptist Church Building Fund.

Arrangements are by Stith Funeral Home.

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