Nemours Children’s Health System CEO David J. Bailey to retire this year

Empty desk chair in modern office
Under Bailey's leadership, Nemours increased revenues from $533 million to $1.4 billion. (Image: Getty/Robert Daly)
David Bailey

David Bailey, M.D., the longtime head of the Nemours Foundation, also known as Nemours Children’s Health System, announced Tuesday he will retire this year.

The organization, which has its corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, and includes two free-standing hospitals in the Delaware Valley and Florida and operates 50-plus primary, specialty and urgent care clinics in five states, will begin the search for his successor immediately. Bailey intends to continue to serve as CEO and president until his successor is in place, a process that he told the Florida Times-Union will likely take 6 to 12 months.

Bailey, 63, a pediatrician, joined the integrated children’s health system in 1997 as chair of the Department of Pediatrics for Nemours Specialty Care in Orlando, Florida, and also served as the chief executive of Nemours Florida practice, executive vice president and chief operating officer before taking on the role of president and CEO for the foundation in 2006. Under his leadership, the organization said in an announcement, Nemours increased revenues from $533 million to $1.4 billion, built the Orlando campus and increased its care locations from 15 to more than 80 throughout six states. It also established a robust digital health and telemedicine platform.

Bailey told the Orlando Sentinel that the growth of Nemours in Orlando made him realize that the time was right for his retirement. “In many ways, this is my baby and it no longer needs its dad,” he said.

"We are deeply grateful to Dr. Bailey for his devotion to continuing the legacy of our benefactor, Alfred I. duPont," said Brian Anderson, chairman of Nemours’ Board of Directors, in the announcement. "Everything that he has done at Nemours is based on ensuring that we put the child first at all times, that we attract and retain talented physicians and associates to provide the highest quality care and that the organization is appropriately positioned to successfully deliver on its mission for the future."

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Bailey said he would help participate in the search for his successor, whom he hopes will be someone who has the same passion that he has for children’s healthcare.

"Nemours is a unique institution with extraordinary people who never forget why they come to work every day, to restore and improve the health of children, Bailey said in the announcement. “Whether providing direct care, education, prevention services or research, every one of them, every day are not only the best in their fields, they are devoted and they will continue to deliver on the Nemours promise in the years to come.”