Jim Ball’s career at Catholic Health Services has been one of unique possibilities, interesting timing and created opportunities. After relocating from California where he earned his master’s degree in physical therapy from USC, he served as director of rehabilitation services for St. John’s Nursing Center, before Catholic Health Services had been formed as an organization by the Archdiocese of Miami. Being partial to entrepreneurship, he jumped on an opportunity to start Selective Rehabilitation Services, offering contract services to hospitals and SNFs as well as an outpatient physical therapy center. SRS captured the attention of RehabWorks in 1991 and he sold his company while accepting a position as Florida state director and later promoted to vice president of operations. By the time Jim accepted the position of President/COO in May 1997, RehabWorks had grown to a $350,000,000 national contract therapy company.
A year later, he returned to Catholic Health Services as administrator of two free standing rehabilitation hospitals and assumed responsibility for strategic planning of the CHS health care network, managed care contracting, hospital and physician relations. In August 2002, Jim was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. One could say it was a great combination of the right person in the right place at the right time! The healthcare landscape he navigated during these last 15 years required careful and skilled steering, but his high energy and vision together with his confident experimental style rendered some of the most exciting progress and innovations in CHS health delivery systems. His era has been filled with opportunities created, new programs launched, a new campus built, services expanded, challenges met, growing innovations, bold chances taken, as he played an integral leadership role on the team that grew CHS to a market leader and the largest post-acute non-profit health care continuum in the southeast US.
Jim Ball, to this day, refers to himself as a physical therapist and has always maintained active participation in the American Physical Therapy Association, serving on various committees and elected positions on a state and national level. He has also served on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations panel in reviewing proposals for demonstration projects. He has been in several elected positions on the Board of Directors of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association and has served on the Board of Trustees of Palmetto General Hospital.
On September 15th, the Board of Directors of Catholic Health Services, together with Joe Catania, CEO of CHS and senior management staff celebrated his career and retirement with the presentation of Board Resolution and wished Jim much continued success and happiness in his future adventures.