Luis holding private memorial service for former CEO
Published: October 24, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Luis Hospital plans to honor the memory of former Chief Executive Officer Jeff Nelson during a private memorial service at the V.I. Cardiac Center on Friday morning.
"It will just be a simple memorial service, where we will be talking about his vision when he came here, his accomplishments, his contributions to health care in the territory," said Pamela Sanes, Luis Hospital spokeswoman.
Nelson, 58, died Tuesday morning on his property in Stillwater, Minn.
Brian Muiller, Investigations commander for the Washington County Minnesota Sheriff's Office, said Nelson appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound. Police were notified of Nelson's death shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Authorities have released scant information about the death, which is under investigation.
"We're just considering this a death investigation," Muiller said. "We're not looking for any suspects, or any persons of interest or anyone else involved in this. That's the only information we have right now, other than when the medical examiner's report returns and we'd obviously have a final ruling of death."
Nelson, who resigned as Luis Hospital CEO on Jan. 26 after two years at the helm, had been president and chief executive officer at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn., for just more than six months.
Nelson came to St. Croix as Luis Hospital CEO in January 2011.
Hired as a turn-around specialist, his tenure was marked by controversy and change.
Kye Walker, who was chairwoman of the hospital board while Nelson was CEO, said that part of Nelson's impact at the hospital involved mentoring.
"He mentored many people while he was here, and I think there are a lot of people who grew under his mentorship," she said. "And his passing is a tremendous loss to a lot of us."
In a prepared statement, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said that while Nelson had faced "many challenges at the helm of the Luis Hospital including sizable debts, we are forever grateful for his efforts in helping to turn around the hospital on St. Croix and his attempts to re-energize the hospital facility and develop it into a premier health care facility for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region."
In a prepared statement, V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen said, "While we may not have always agreed, Mr. Nelson was a consummate professional and his efforts to improve patient care and the financial footing of the hospital will not be forgotten."
The memorial service will not be open to the public, according to Sanes.
The service is for past hospital executives, their families, hospital board members and "members of the team, present and past, who served with Mr. Nelson," she said.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email email@example.com.