Debbie Simon, CEO of UnityPoint Health in Central Illinois, has announced she will retire June 30. Simon’s retirement will mark the end of a 43-year career with the organization.
Dr. Keith Knepp, currently president of UnityPoint Health hospitals and clinics in Peoria, has been named by the board of directors to succeed Simon as CEO.
“Debbie will long be remembered for the legacy of health care progress she leaves in Peoria and its surrounding communities,” said Kevin Vermeer, president and chief executive officer of UnityPoint Health in a news release. “She was instrumental in leading the regional affiliation with UnityPoint Health and has since fostered continous growth and development to ensure quality care for the people and families of Central Illinois. We are grateful for her partnership and her many contributions.”
Simon rose through the ranks of clinical and operational leadership at Methodist to eventually serve as regional chief executive officer.
Under Simon’s leadership Peoria’s Methodist Medical Center integrated with UnityPoint Health and then affiliated with Proctor and Pekin Hospitals. Methodist College now has over 600 students.
Knepp, like Simon, has spent his career with the organization and has held a number of leadership positions over the last decade, including chief medical informatics director and chief operating officer.
Knepp will assume the role of chief executive officer April 1 and will work with Simon on the transition of leadership and other strategic initiatives until she officially retires June 30.