Baptist Health Louisville President Larry Gray to retire

Baptist Health Louisville. February 01, 2023

Baptist Health Louisville President Larry Gray will retire later this year after nearly 40 years of service.


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY FEB. 1, 2023 -- Baptist Health Louisville President Larry Gray will retire later this year after nearly 40 years of service with the system.


Gray will remain in his current position while a national search for his replacement is conducted, according to Patrick Falvey, chief operating officer for the nine-hospital Baptist Health system. Internal candidates will be considered. Candidate searches typically take between five to seven months.  


“Throughout his career, Larry’s quest to provide compassionate care to our communities has always been evident, and he has displayed that same regard for his staff,” Falvey said. “He has been a visionary leaders, a source of strength and hope during the pandemic. He will be greatly missed.”


Gray was named president of Baptist Health Louisville in June 2018. Among one of the first accomplishments under his leadership was securing the hospital’s third Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for nursing excellence.


During his time at Louisville, Gray and his team steered the 519-bed hospital through the height of the pandemic, maintaining relatively normal operations while taking care of thousands of patients with COVID-19. The team responded with strength, grace, courage and resilience, not only in patient care, but in mounting an outpatient vaccination effort during 2021 and much of 2022.


Gray has said his greatest professional gratification came during the pandemic as he worked to keep transparent communication flowing and the leadership team supported staff in their work, made sure they had adequate resources, and stood by them in the difficult days.


As a result of his work during the pandemic, Gray was named a Healthcare Hero by Louisville Business First.


The pandemic also helped spur outreach to the community in the form of vaccination and flu clinics, including those in disadvantaged neighborhoods.


Despite the crush of the pandemic, several strategic growth and capital commitments continued toward development or completion during Gray’s tenure, positioning the hospital for future growth. Among those projects: a surgery expansion and renovation, cardiac expansion with new cath labs and cardiac intensive care unit and a new Education Center and Simulation Lab. The Breckenridge Lane healthplex and hybrid emergency and urgent care service are now under construction. Work will soon begin on the new inpatient rehabilitation hospital.


Prior to coming to Louisville, Gray served seven years as president of Baptist Health Corbin. Under his leadership, the 273-bed hospital created a Medicare Shared Savings Plan accountable care organization, established a physician-led clinically integrated network, and expanded its heart, cancer, women’s care, Neonatal Intensive Care unit, behavioral health and addiction treatment.


In addition, it earned high marks for nursing, patient care and quality, receiving the top grade of “A” in patient safety from the non-profit Leapfrog organization, with the other two grades being high “B’s” for four of the six reporting periods. The hospital's Nursing team also achieved its first Pathway to Excellence® designation from the ANCC.


Gray began his career with Baptist Health as a clinical chaplain, becoming director of pastoral care in 1986. In 1993, he took on executive duties at the Lexington hospital, becoming vice president for System Support and Administrative Services in 1997 and added Environment of Care departments, Education, Community Outreach, Human Resources and Workforce Development departments.


He has served as adjunct faculty in the master’s degree program for health administration at the University of Kentucky since 2002 and was appointed as Community Associate Professor in 2021 in the School of Public Health, focusing on organizational ethics and governance. He was named the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Kentucky.

As part of his retirement, Gray plans to travel, teach and write. In addition, he and his wife, Mary Ida, are looking forward to spending more time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – along with some gardening, fly fishing and golf.