Neal Kocurek, who led St. David's HealthCare System in Austin, Texas, through a six-year battle to retain its tax-exempt status, died Monday following a stroke. He was 67. Carol Clark, a lawyer for the system, resigned from private practice to serve as the system's interim president and chief executive officer until a replacement is named. Kocurek, a civic leader who came out of retirement to run St. David's in 1998, championed a joint venture with investor-owned HCA that sparked an Internal Revenue Service challenge of the system's tax-exempt status. A federal jury ultimately sided with the system in a trial that ended earlier this month. "We are deeply saddened by the loss of this extraordinary person, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family," said Alfred King, chairman of the system's board. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Texas hospital CEO who beat IRS dies of stroke
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