Kathy Clark Recounts Her Time as Wilcox Memorial Hospital President & CEO


After a decade of serving as head of Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai, Kathy Clark will officially retire from her post on June 30, 2015.

Kathy Clark smiling on PortraitKathy began her career in the medical field as a nurse, working as administrative director of emergency and trauma services at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California, and as director of community and clinical nursing at Indian Health Service. 

She arrived at Wilcox in 2005 to fill the position of chief nurse but within six months was promoted to president and CEO of the hospital, as well as CEO of Kauai Medical Clinic. 

One of her first challenges at Kauai’s largest hospital came early on in the form of a nurses’ strike that would last four months. Kathy rose to the task and worked hard to restore morale and reestablish camaraderie between hospital employees. 

Today, Wilcox’s staff engagement levels are ranked in the 97th percentile of national hospitals. Wilcox also was named among the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide for outstanding patient experience

Other advancements for both Wilcox and the Kauai community to come out of Kathy’s 10 years of service include an Infusion Center, Women’s Center, an Urgent Care Clinic and Trauma Center designated for the hospital. These new services have benefitted patients in countless ways – cancer patients can remain at home for treatment; trauma patients receive the immediate care they need on-island; and cardiac patients now have access to an expanded range of quality rehabilitation services. 

Here, Kathy, who was named the 2015 Businesswoman of the Year in the nonprofit category at Pacific Business News’ Women Who Mean Business gala in April, reflects on her time at Wilcox and shares what’s next

What is your fondest memory of working as president and CEO of Wilcox Memorial Hospital and CEO of Kauai Medical Clinic?
Oh, the stories I could tell you! Truly, I have loved working at Wilcox and living on Kauai. They are all fond memories.

What is your proudest accomplishment during your term as president and CEO?
It is a team accomplishment: to go from the worst employee engagement in the system to among the best in the nation – that, to me, is something to be proud of. Not only did we improve how our employees see us, but we changed the way the community sees us. 

What will you miss most about Wilcox and the Kauai community?
I will miss the employees. Many of us have been together for 10 years. I have watched their children grow, watched as some have furthered their education, watched their personal growth in their positions, and shared children and grandchildren stories. They make me proud. People on Kauai are among the nicest, kindest, most caring people I have ever met. 

What are you most looking forward to doing upon your retirement?
This is an easy answer: Whatever I want, whenever I want! No routines for a while!

Published on: June 6, 2015