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WVUHS CEO J. Thomas Jones Announces Plans to Retire

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West Virginia United Health System (WVUHS)'s CEO, J. Thomas Jones, announced on January 25 that he intends to retire at the end of 2013 after a 41-year career in healthcare, according to a news release from WVUHS.

"This has been my dream job," he 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, who is the second person to hold the CEO post since WVUHS was founded in 1996, came to the group in 2002, according to the news release.

When Jones started, WVUHS included only two hospitals, WVU's Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and the original United Hospital Center in Clarksburg. Since then, WVUHS has expanded to include City Hospital in Martinsburg, Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson (operated together as WVU Hospitals-East) and Camden Clark Medical Center on two hospital campuses in Parkersburg, officials said.

WVUHS also includes United Physicians Care and the Health Partners Network, according to the news release.

During Jones' time at WVUHS, UHC planned and completed a new $300 million hospital along Interstate 79 in Bridgeport, Ruby Memorial Hospital was substantially enlarged, and WVUHS was listed, for several years, as W.Va.'s second-largest private employer, according to the news release.

Jones is a native of Glen Dale in W.Va.'s northern panhandle. He holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from West Virginia University and a master's degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota, officials said.

"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."

Jones is also active in the state's business community and was honored in 2012 as one of three inductees into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame by the WVU College of Business and Economics.