Iredell Health System’s President & CEO Ed Rush will officially retire at the end of this week, after serving for nearly 15 years as the nonprofit’s leader.
Rush officially became the President & CEO of Iredell Health System in January 2005, becoming only the fourth-ever CEO in the hospital’s history. During his tenure, Rush has taken Iredell Memorial Hospital and transformed it into Iredell Health System, a thriving organization providing Statesville and surrounding communities with comprehensive healthcare, more than 1600 jobs, community sponsorships, and much more.
Rush strongly believes that every person is entitled to receive quality healthcare close to home, and has made it his mission during his time at Iredell to make that a reality for those living in the area.
“When people need healthcare, easy access to the care they need without traveling far from home is important,” he said. “Healthcare decisions are often some of the scariest and most complex decisions we will ever make, and knowing there are healthcare experts that can provide needed care in our own neighborhood can make difficult decisions easier.”
For rural communities, like those in Iredell, Alexander, Davie and Catawba counties, that access can be more challenging. It requires an ongoing effort from community leaders who work together to drive change and push for what they know the community needs, even when it’s difficult. From one county to another, outstanding healthcare is now available to all, thanks in large part to Rush’s efforts.
Rush has also been instrumental in making sure Iredell Health System has the most advanced technology available so members of the community can receive the very best care. Under his leadership the Health System has added advanced imaging services like 3D mammography and nuclear medicine, state-of-the-art surgical equipment such as the da Vinci XI robot, and much, much more. He is also largely responsible for the development and expansion of the Iredell Physician Network, a physician group spread throughout Iredell and surrounding counties providing primary care and other specialty medical services to patients. Rush has also overseen the development and expansion of an extensive corporate wellness program, encouraging local business and industry leaders to invest in the health of their employees and thus create safer, healthier working environments.
Through Rush’s leadership, Iredell has also become a leader in cardiovascular care — an especially important point to note since heart disease is the second leading cause of death in North Carolina. Thanks to Rush, Iredell Memorial was the first hospital in the county to offer patients healing interventional care in the earliest state of a heart attack. That commitment to comprehensive, quality and modern medicine continues today at the new Iredell Heart & Vascular Center, where you can find sophisticated technology, an experienced staff and comprehensive heart and vascular care in one convenient location. Because of Rush’s leadership, Iredell is an accredited chest pain and primary stroke care center, designations from the American Heart and American Stroke Associations given only to high-performing facilities who meet strict criteria that improve patient care.
Rush has been passionate about the mission to keep Iredell Memorial Hospital a community-owned nonprofit, a task that hasn’t always been easy with the ever-changing healthcare landscape. As part of that effort, he has continuously served on various committees for the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA). It is through his leadership at the state level that Rush was able to continue his strong commitment to maintaining an independent status and representing that same desire of the communities served by IHS.
“On behalf of all the employees and providers at Iredell Health System, and on behalf of our community, we thank Ed for his long-time commitment to our community, his uncanny ability to foresee the direction of healthcare and his unwavering dedication to making sure everyone in our community, regardless of age, income, or any other factors, receives the healthcare they need when they need it most,” said John Green, Chief Operating Officer for Iredell Health System, and incoming CEO. “We plan to continue that legacy, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Caption: Ed Rush stands next to a sculpture dedicated in his honor last week. The sculpture is symbolic of the mission, vision and values of Iredell Health System which were established during Rush’s tenure.