Jim Nathan has served as Lee Memorial Health System President/CEO since 1982 except for a short time in the late 1990s. During the nearly 3 years he was away from LMHS, he served as a leadership consultant including involvement in health reform issues at the national level. Jim joined Lee Memorial Hospital as Administrative Resident in 1975 and served as Vice President from 1976 through 1981. As CEO, Jim led Lee Memorial’s emergence as a health system with four acute care hospitals, a comprehensive rehabilitation hospital, a children’s hospital, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, a home health agency, a regional cancer center, multiple physician practices and outpatient services. Lee Memorial Health System has received many recognitions including Thompson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals, HealthGrades Excellence and Top 50 hospitals in nation, Employer of Choice, AARP Top 10 employer in nation, and Premier Healthcare Employer.
Jim is a current board member and past chairman of the Florida Hospital Association and founding chairman of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. He serves on the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board; and chairs the boards of LeeSar and Cooperative Services of Florida. He was the founding Chairman of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida and previously served as Campaign Chairman and President of the United Way of Lee County. Jim was awarded the Clara Barton Humanitarian Award by the American Red Cross, the Business Building Leadership Award by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Florida, the Distinguished Alumni Award for Xavier University’s Graduate Program in Health Administration, and the Founder’s Award from Lee Mental Health for his on-going support of mental health initiatives in Southwest Florida. He was also voted a “Person of the Decade” by Gulfshore Life, chosen as a Laureate for Junior Achievement, and named “Person of Distinction” for the past 25 years by The News-Press. Jim is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).
Jim has been a national keynote speaker on many health care topics including the history of health care from a social, economic and political perspective; health care reform; and creative funding for medically uninsured populations. He has testified before the US Senate on competition and antitrust issues related to health care delivery and financing. Jim holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Miami University; Masters Degrees in both Business Administration and in Health Care Administration from Xavier University; and an Honorary Doctorate in Healthcare Administration from Southwest Florida College. Married to Karen, PhD, author and education consultant, for 44 years with grown sons, Zachary and Adam.