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EMH Health System CEO, Kevin Martin, dies

Kevin Martin died Tuesday of cancer. He was 52. He had been the chief executive of the health system since 1998 but had worked at EMH since 1989.

Updated: 4 p.m.

Kevin Martin, president and chief executive of EMH Regional Health System, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 52.

Martin had been chief executive of the health system since 1998 but had worked at EMH since 1989. He served as a vice president of finance and chief operating officer, among other roles. An interim chief operating officer soon will be named to help lead the system during its transition to a new leader, according to a hospital press release.

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Among Martin’s greatest accomplishments was keeping EMH a thriving and profitable independent hospital system — particularly with the fearsome competition from health systems throughout Northeast Ohio, said Kevin Flanigan, chairman of the board of Comprehensive Healthcare of Ohio, the health system’s parent company.

Most of the community hospitals in the region have affiliated with or been acquired by a few large health systems.

“It’s a profitable and financially healthy organization, thanks to his leadership and new programs,” Flanigan said.

“He was one of the smartest and most caring individuals I have come across,” Flanigan said. “His dedication to the hospital and community is unequaled.”

EMH has made some notable expansions during Martin’s tenure. It added a 60,000-square-foot fitness center and adjacent emergency department in Avon.  In addition, it opened a medical building in Sheffield in 2006, recently added a state-of-the-art imaging center in Westlake, and plans to expand into North Ridgeville.

EMH was  ranked among the 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters every year under Martin’s leadership. Its nursing program was considered among the top 5 percent in the nation.

Flanigan said the hospital’s management team will run the hospital until an interim-chief operating officer is named. A search for a new chief executive will begin soon, Flanigan said.

Visitations are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Chambers Funeral Home in Cleveland. A funeral mass is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Raphael Church in Bay Village.

Contributions may be made to The Kevin C. Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Edward High School.