July 6, 2023
Jon Ness, CEO of Kootenai Health, has announced he will be retiring in early 2024. Ness has served as the CEO at Kootenai Health since 2010. Kootenai Health’s board has formed a search committee to lead national recruitment efforts for the new CEO. Recruitment is expected to take six to nine months and Ness will continue to serve as the CEO until the position has been filled in early 2024. This timeline means the new CEO will begin his or her employment after all 501(c)(3) conversion work, currently underway at Kootenai Health, has been completed.
Jon Ness joined Kootenai Health in 2010. During his 13 years, Kootenai Health has become a regional referral center for health care and provides comprehensive clinical services for all of northern Idaho. It is now the third-largest health system in Idaho with over 4,000 employees.
“Over my 13 years here I have grown very attached to the people, the values and the mission of Kootenai Health,” Ness said. “It has been hard for me to think about leaving Kootenai Health, especially during and immediately after the challenges of COVID-19. I simply couldn’t leave. However, I am in my late 60s and I have decided that now is a good time to announce that I will be retiring at the beginning of 2024. There will be no gap in time between my last working day and the start date for the new CEO.”
The Kootenai Health board search committee has engaged the executive recruiting firm of Witt Kieffer to conduct a national search for CEO candidates. Witt Kieffer has an exceptional track record of recruiting for Kootenai Health. They have placed most of the administrative leaders at Kootenai Health and recruited Jon Ness in 2010.
Kootenai Health is well positioned for the CEO transition. Its recent move to a private, non-profit corporation makes the position more attractive to candidates. Although it is not without challenges, its exceptional history of growth, strong performance, thoughtful strategic planning and capable leadership make it an ideal opportunity for the right candidate.
“It has truly been an honor to serve as Kootenai Health’s CEO. I will be forever grateful to the highly committed board members, outstanding medical staff, dedicated administrative team, wonderful employees, and all of our community and regional partners,” Ness said. “We have accomplished so much together since 2010 and have done this work when our community and patients needed us the most. I will be excited to see Kootenai Health continue to grow and develop new clinical programs to serve northern Idaho.”