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Published on July 02, 2019

Kim Russel to Retire in 2020; Bryan Announces Internal Successor 

Kim Russel, president and CEO, has announced her retirement from Bryan Health effective January 3, 2020. Russel has served as Bryan Health’s CEO and Bryan Medical Center’s CEO since March 2008.

kim russel

Kim Russel

Bill Lester, chair of the Bryan Health Board of Trustees, stated:  “The Board of Trustees is extremely appreciative of Kim’s record of accomplishments. With her leadership, Bryan Health’s services to its patients have grown significantly. Perhaps Kim’s most important legacy will be the highly talented leadership team that she has developed over the years.”

Lester continued, “The Board of Trustees has deep confidence in the skill and dedication of the Bryan leadership team. Accordingly, the Bryan Health Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Bryan Health’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Russ Gronewold, will succeed Kim as President and CEO of Bryan Health upon her retirement in January 2020. Also in January, John Woodrich, Bryan Medical Center’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), will become Executive Vice President of Bryan Health and President

russ gronewold

Russ Gronewold

and CEO of Bryan Medical Center. This leadership transition will provide a high level of continuity for Bryan Health. The board is committed to continuing Bryan Health’s trajectory of positive growth and strong service to the community and to the state.”

Gronewold, a native of Adams, Nebraska, has served as Bryan Health’s CFO since December 29, 2009. Woodrich, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, has served as Bryan Medical Center’s President and COO since December 1, 2009.

Since 2009 Russel and her team led efforts to construct new facilities for the Bryan Independence Center and Mental Health Counseling Center on the Bryan West Campus. On the Bryan East Campus notable expansion has included a renovated and expanded Emergency Department, the 5055 Building, and is currently in the midst of a three-year project to transform surgical services and enhance visitor and patient common spaces. On both campuses, a conversion to all single occupancy rooms was completed.

Additionally, during this time Bryan Health conducted its largest private

john woodrich

John Woodrich

fundraising effort in its history, exceeding its b2020 $40 million dollar goal 18 months early; acquired Merrick Medical Center; implemented a new Electronic Health Record system; enrollment has eclipsed 725 students at the Bryan College of Health Sciences; expanded the Bryan Physician Network; built a statewide telemedicine network; expanded to over 5,000 employees; annually treats 150,000 unique patients; and provides more than $13 million annually in charity care to more than 11,000 patients.

Bryan Health is a Nebraska governed, nonprofit health system that serves patients throughout Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri-comprising Bryan Medical Center, Crete Area Medical Center, Merrick Medical Center, Bryan Physician Network, Bryan Heart, Bryan Foundation, Bryan Health Connect, and Bryan Enterprises.

Premiere services include cardiology, neuroscience, orthopedics, vascular, Level II trauma center, emergency departments, intensive care, women’s and children’s health, Level III NICU, imaging, mental health and inpatient rehabilitation.

Bryan's award-winning network of doctors, hospitals and medical providers offer effective care, introduce leading-edge treatments and serve rural communities through outreach clinics, mobile services and telemedicine care. To learn more, visit


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