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Vancise takes leadership position at Flaget

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By Kacie Goode

As Flaget Memorial Hospital says farewell to its president, Sue Downs, a familiar face will be stepping up to continue her work.

Rick Vancise, vice president of ambulatory services, has been named interim site executive.

A press release coinciding with Downs’ retirement cites Vancise’s “proven record of extraordinary growth in the outpatient settings, strong operational leadership, and exceptional leadership in special projects,” as qualities for his success with Flaget.

Vancise has been with Flaget Memorial Hospital for 16 years. Originally from Michigan, Vancise served as a medic in the Army and was later stationed at Fort Knox.

“I had to decide what I would do for the rest of my life, and nursing was a real opportunity,” he said.

After completing a program through Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Vancise worked in Louisville but later took a job at Flaget after connecting with Downs.

“We had a similar nursing philosophy,” he said, and he was offered a director position for inpatient care.

In his new interim position, Vancise said he will essentially have the same roles Downs had, including overseeing all activities at the Bardstown location.

“I was humbled and very appreciative that the leadership of KentuckyOne Health would ask me to fill this role,” he said.

Having worked well with Downs, he described the retiree as a good leader, selfless, dedicated and patient care-oriented. He also said he has been proud to be part of a team that has achieved what Flaget has, and that is a reflection on the leadership.

Vancise said he isn’t sure how long he will serve in the interim role, but that he hopes to push the hospital even further in its service to the community.

“We will continue that road and make sure we meet all of the needs of the community we serve and carry on the mission our sisters laid before us so many years ago.”