Jerome “Jerry” Penner has been named the next CEO of Murray-Calloway County Hospital by unanimous vote this morning by the MCCH board of trustees.
After a brief executive session at 7:30 a.m., the board returned to regular session to hear and approve a motion by Dr. Rob Williams, seconded by Joe Ward, to appoint Penner as CEO. Penner will begin his tenure as CEO on Friday, April 1.
“We are really excited about having him on board,” said board chair Sandra Parks. “He has lots of contacts for personnel recruitment and I feel he will be a real asset to Murray-Calloway County Hospital.”
Penner was one of three finalists named in December 2010 by the board, and visited Murray Jan. 4 for interviews. He will be retiring from his current rank of Colonel in the United States Army after 29 years of service, 25 of those in professional healthcare and 14 as a CEO/COO. He is a Murray State University graduate and has many family ties to the area.
“My family and I are extremely excited about the opportunity to join Murray-Calloway County Hospital and equally excited about the opportunity to come back home,” Penner said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I am looking forward to contributing to the future success of the great community there ... It’s been a long process and my thanks go out to the board of trustees, medical staff and hospital leadership for their confidence in my abilities. I am deeply humbled.”
Penner is a board-certified healthcare administrator and Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and currently serves as the CEO of the Madigan Healthcare System, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash.
He earned his B.S. degree in Biology at MSU, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, and an M.S. in Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Penner grew up in Radcliff, attending North Hardin High School. His career in healthcare began at age 16 when he was hired as a dietary technician at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown. His mother, Dolly Penner, still resides in Radcliff.
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Penner is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and he earned a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. His honorary recognition includes the Order of Military Medical Merit and the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. He received the 2007 Army Regent’s Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives.
He has been married for 24 years to the former Jamie Cay Shelton of Gideon, Mo., who earned Bachelor’s and Master's degrees from MSU in education and guidance and counseling, respectively. Jamie Penner’s parents both attended MSU and her father earned a degree in education. Jerry and Jamie have two sons, Jerome IV and Jason, both of whom plan to attend MSU this fall.