The chief executive officer of West Virginia United Health System is retiring, according to a news release issued Monday.

J. Thomas Jones told the WVUHS board of his plans on Jan. 25.  His retirement will take effect at the end of the year.

“This has been my dream job,” Jones said. “My first job was in the food service department at the original University Hospital in Morgantown. After graduate school, I returned to work as an administrative resident. I’m now bringing it to a close as a part of the team that provides healthcare to more people in West Virginia than anyone else. You can’t beat that. I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of staff and board members.”

Jones spent 41 years in the healthcare field.  He is the second CEO since WVUHS was founded in 1996.  Jones began his work as CEO in 2002.

At that time, WVUHS included only two hospitals: Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and the original United Hospital Center in Clarksburg.  WVUHS now includes City Hospital in Martinsburg, Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson and Camden Clark Medical Center on two hospital campuses in Parkersburg. The System also includes United Physicians Care and the Health Partners Network.

“Tom Jones has done an excellent job helping West Virginia University fulfill its mission in healthcare for our state,” said WVU President Jim Clements, who chairs the WVUHS board. “He has been a champion for how our teaching, research and service missions help to advance healthcare within our state and the region. Tom has helped WVUHS grow into the largest healthcare system in the state by promoting quality and by being a strong advocate for the patients that our hospitals and clinics serve.”

During Jones’ tenure at WVUHS, United Hospital Center planned and completed a new $300 million hospital along Interstate 79 in Bridgeport, and Ruby Memorial Hospital was substantially enlarged. For several years, WVUHS has been listed as West Virginia’s second-largest private employer.

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