Dennis Barry, who served as Cone Health's CEO for 25 years died Thursday at the age of 80.
Not-for-profit Cone is based in Greensboro, N.C. and is comprised of more than 150 facilities, including six hospitals, three medical centers, three urgent care centers and more than 100 physician practices. The hospitals include Wesley Long Hospital, Women's Hospital, and Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital—all of which were acquired under Barry's leadership.
According to a press release announcing his death, Barry famously told the board that the behavioral health hospital would be a money loser—but that the services were too important for the community to lose.
"Much of what Cone Health means to our region today is the direct result of Dennis' tremendous vision for our health system and our community," says Cone Health CEO Terry Akin.
Barry who also served as chairman of the American Hospital Association in addition to sitting on the board of the Joint Commission, joined Cone Health as president of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in 1979.
"Dennis took a struggling hospital and turned it into a jewel," says Tim Rice who followed Barry as CEO. "He helped build Cone Health and put it on the national stage."
Barry was also responsible for adding to Cone Health's portfolio its first pediatric, neonatal and neurological intensive care units.
"Dennis understood both the big picture and the finite detail, applying both to all he did. He mentored and influenced countless leaders, who today work for Cone Health and health systems around the nation. Our former CEO Tim Rice and I were fortunate to have Dennis' friendship, expertise and wise counsel," adds Akin.