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Business journal names UHHS CEO, UM chancellor among top executives

Published on Thursday, February 2, 2017

Published on February 02, 2017

The chief executive officer of University Hospitals and Health Systems and the University of Mississippi chancellor are among the CEOs selected by a statewide business journal for making a "profound" effect on their respective communities.

Kevin Cook, right, University Hospitals and Health System CEO, and Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter, University of Mississippi Chancellor, display the awards they each received for being recognized as top chief executive officers in the state from the Mississippi Business Journal.

The journal's CEO Awards of Mississippi recognize leaders in the state who help their companies or organizations achieve strong growth and success and who have made a profound effect on their communities.

Cook joined the Medical Center as CEO of the "adult hospitals" in 2013 and was elevated to his current role in September 2015. Working in tandem with Dr. Charles O'Mara, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, Cook is responsible for all adult and pediatric health care operations, including hospitals and clinics, under the UMMC health system umbrella.

He has focused on enhancing the efficiency and improving the quality of the clinical enterprise while overseeing its growth.

“I'm deeply appreciative to be honored alongside some of the most accomplished leaders in our state,” Cook said. “This recognition is a result of the amazing work being done by our talented and accomplished clinical, administrative and support staffs that view their job as more than just work, but as a mission.”

Since taking the reins Jan. 1, 2016, Vitter has focused on bolstering the university's already strong research capabilities; strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics education; and growing the university's capacity to address future workforce needs.

“I am grateful to the Mississippi Business Journal for this prestigious award,” Vitter said. “It is really a recognition of the university's reputation for excellence and the valuable contributions of all our staff, faculty, students and alumni. They are the real honorees of this award.”

"Being able to recognize for the second year the people who work to create jobs, build new facilities, and contribute to our state's economy and our communities has been very gratifying and rewarding to us,” said Alan Turner, Mississippi Business Journal publisher.