IU Health executive Kitchell leaving ‘for other opportunities’

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A top executive at Indiana University Health plans to leave at the end of the year, creating a change in leadership ranks as the health system builds and expands facilities around the state and prepares for the $1 billion overhaul of its downtown Indianapolis campus.

Kitchell Ryan Kitchell

Ryan C. Kitchell, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, who oversees a wide swath of the health system’s business operations, did not give a reason for his upcoming departure. He has been with IU Health since 2010, and is listed second on the IU Health’s leadership website, right under President and CEO Dennis Murphy.

“After nearly a decade of service to IU Health, Ryan Kitchell will be stepping down at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities,” the health system said Thursday evening in a brief statement, in response to IBJ’s inquiry.

IU Health did not say who might replace him or provide details on his departure. Kitchell oversees IU Health’s strategy involving finance, human resources, information services, communications, business development, marketing, government affairs and IU Health Plans. Prior to his current role, he served as chief financial officer for four years, and treasurer and president of IU Health Plans for two years.

His departure comes at a busy time for IU Health, which is building a new hospital and academic center in Bloomington and renovating and expanding IU Health West Hospital in Avon and Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. It is also moving aggressively into Fort Wayne  and is in the midst of a huge renovation of its downtown Indianapolis campus, which will result in the consolidation of Methodist and University hospitals.

IU Health is the largest health system in Indiana, with 16 hospitals and about 30,000 employees. It had $6.4 billion in operating revenues last year.

Prior to joining IU Health, Kitchell served as public finance director and later as the director of the Office of Management and Budget for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. He also served in corporate treasury and controllership roles at Eli Lilly and Company.

Kitchell, who was IBJ's 2015 CFO of the Year, holds an economics degree from Indiana University, a masters of business administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and has the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

He serves on several boards, including the Indiana Sports Corporation, Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation, Crossroads of America Council, the Indiana Motorsports Commission, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, NBA All-Star 2021 Games, and the Old National Bancorp.

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One thought on “IU Health executive Kitchell leaving ‘for other opportunities’

  1. The following is Ryan Kitchell’s response to a research article showing that IU health charges employers and patients more than most comparable hospitals in order to maintain a higher profit:
    “Pressures are increasing on hospitals to reduce costs and restrain pricing, making it more difficult to maintain operating margins.
    IU Health also provides $250 million a year in uncompensated care, more than any other hospital system in the state. To cover the cost of that care, the hospital must pass on the cost to commercial insurers and those whom they cover.”

    Kitchell, who was paid over $3.8 million between 2105 and 2017, didn’t explain why IU Health needs an “operating” margin that is two to three times larger than most nonprofit hospitals? He didn’t disclose whose interests are served by IU Heath’s unusually large profit margin? Rather than addressing the propriety of IU Health’s unusually large profit margin, Kitchell’s response focused on the difficulty of maintaining it.

    Also, Kithell’s comments about uncompensated care are disingenuous. Of course Indiana’s largest nonprofit healthcare conglomerate provides more uncompensated healthcare than any of Indiana’s smaller hospital systems. Kitchell did not say whether or not IU Health provides a disproportionately large share of uncompensated care in Indiana? Rather, he delivered a talking point that allowed IU Health to evade and move on.

    I hope IU health replaces Kitchell with someone who prioritizes patient health over corporate wealth.