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."