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Top health services officer retires after decades of service

Jim Ball poses with the board of Catholic Health Services, which honored him Sept. 15 as he retired from his post as chief operating officer.

Photographer: Courtesy of Catholic Health Services

Jim Ball poses with the board of Catholic Health Services, which honored him Sept. 15 as he retired from his post as chief operating officer.

FORT LAUDERDALE | Jim Ball, chief operating officer with Catholic Health Services, recently finished decades of service as the organization's Board of Directors issued a statement of appreciation.

Ball, a former resident of California, has served twice with CHS -- from 1980 to 1986 with St. John's Nursing Center, then returning to CHS in 1998 after working in private business.

His tenure with the organization leaves a legacy of quality and growth, said Maria A. Miranda, vice president of public relations for CHS.

"His era has been filled with opportunities created, new programs launched, a new campus built, services expanded, challenges met, growing innovations, bold chances taken, as he played an integral leadership role on the team that grew CHS to a market leader and the largest post-acute non-profit health care continuum in the southeast U.S.," Miranda said.

After earning a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Southern California, Ball served as director of rehabilitation services for St. John’s, even before Catholic Health Services was formed as an organization by the Archdiocese of Miami.

In private work, Ball founded Selective Rehabilitation Services, offering contract services to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities as well as an outpatient physical therapy center. SRS captured the attention of RehabWorks in 1991 and he sold his company while accepting a position as Florida state director, and later, vice president of operations. By May 1997, RehabWorks had grown to a $350 million national contract therapy company.

A year later, he returned to Catholic Health Services as administrator of two free-standing rehabilitation hospitals. He also assumed responsibility for strategic planning of the CHS health care network, managed care contracting, hospital and physician relations. He was promoted to chief operating officer in August 2002.

To this day, Ball refers to himself as a physical therapist and has always participated in the American Physical Therapy Association, serving on various committees and elected positions on a state and national level. He has also served on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations panel in reviewing proposals for demonstration projects.

He has worked in several elected positions on the Board of Directors of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association and has served on the Board of Trustees of Palmetto General Hospital.

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