Death of former Luis Hospital CEO deemed suicide

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ST. CROIX - Authorities in Minnesota have completed their investigation into the October death of former Luis Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jeff Nelson and have ruled it a suicide.

Nelson, who was Luis Hospital CEO from January 2011 to January 2013, was found dead of a gunshot wound on his property outside Stillwater, Minn., the morning of Oct. 22.

At the time, authorities were investigating the death and had not yet made a final determination on the cause or classified it. However, Brian Muiller, Investigations Commander for the Washington County Minnesota Sheriff's Office, said at the time that authorities were "not looking for any suspects, or any persons of interest or anyone else involved in this."

Late last week, Muiller said that a determination had been made and the investigation had been closed.

"The Medical Examiner's Office has ruled it a suicide," Muiller said. "Evidence we have, along with the evidence the medical examiner has as well, leads us to believe this was a suicide."

He declined to comment further.

Nelson had been president and chief executive officer at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn., for just over six months when he died, after the school's Board of Trustees elected him to the post on April 13. The university offers a number of programs in different disciplines, ranging from a College of Chiropractic to a College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a College of Graduate Health Sciences.

The Luis Hospital board had touted Nelson's skills as a turn-around specialist when he was hired at the troubled hospital in January 2011. His tenure had been marked by some controversy as well as some progress. He had abruptly resigned from the hospital on Jan. 26, 2013, one year shy of completing a three-year contract.

-Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email

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