Kern Medical Center gets new CEO

Kern Medical Center gets new CEO

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A new CEO for Kern Medical Center was named Tuesday.

County supervisors appointed Mercy Hospital President and CEO Russell Judd to the top post at KMC.

Paul Hensler was fired as CEO of the county-run hospital Sept. 9 after he and his staff disclosed budget problems in the millions of dollars. County Administrative Officer John Nilon served as interim hospital CEO.

Judd and two others comprise KMC Management Inc., which is negotiating a five-year management contract with the county.

Judd was a member of KMC's administrative team from 1991-96 and later helped the downtown Mercy Hospital through financial hardships and Mercy Southwest through expansion, according to Allan Krauter of the County Administrative Office.

"We are pleased to welcome back Russell Judd," Supervisor Mike Maggard said in a news release. "As a former KMC administrator who has extensive experience in private and nonprofit hospitals, he understands what it will take to place Kern Medical Center back on solid financial ground in a rapidly changing health care environment. He also shares the board's commitment to delivering the highest quality health care at Kern Medical Center."

The management contract should be approved by the county supervisors Dec. 3. Judd would then start Dec. 16.