CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The man who led Memorial Hospital to its first "Top 100" national recognitions will return to Chattanooga in January as Chief Executive Officer of Hospice of Chattanooga.

 Rev. Clark Taylor begins his work for the local Hospice January 4. "What a way to start the new year." said Taylor. "A great opportunity with a tremendous THorganization, in a city we love at the right time." To make the move to Hospice of Chattanooga, Taylor is resigning as CEO of the Ephraim McDowell Health system in Danville, Kentucky effective the end of the year. He has been with the Kentucky hospital since his 2002 departure from Memorial.

 "The team at Hospice of Chattanooga has such a great reputation for providing end-of-life care to the people of this area" said Taylor. "I want to see that reputation for care and compassion expanded so that everyone knows we can help when that moment of need happens in their life." Hospice of Chattanooga, which began in 1981, is now licensed to offer services in eighteen counties in southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.

 Hospice is a comprehensive care and support program provided for individuals and their family members, dealing with end-of-life issues. The patient and family are included in creating a care plan that addresses the physical as well as the emotional and spiritual aspects of facing death.

 The chairman of the Hospice of Chattanooga board says he is more than pleased with the choice of Taylor. "Clark has both the experience and the vision needed to ensure Hospice of Chattanooga remains the leading provider in end of life services in the Tennessee Valley” said Tony D'Andrea, chairman of the Hospice board of directors. "Clark understands our mission of caring, the need for strong relationships and the needed commitment of staff and volunteers."

 D'Andrea thanked Dr. Terry Melvin, who has served as interim CEO the last ten months. "We are grateful to Dr. Melvin for taking on the added responsibilities and keeping us on track during the CEO search." Dr. Melvin continues in her role as the Chief Medical Officer for Hospice of Chattanooga.

 Taylor is a graduate of Sewanee Military Academy, holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the Medical College of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Alabama. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Since 2003, Taylor has served on the Louisville, KY branch of the St. Louis (MO) Federal Reserve Board. During his time in Kentucky, Taylor was tapped to Chair the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce and served as Campaign Chairman and Board Chair for the Heart of Kentucky United Way. He has served in Board leadership roles for both the Kentucky and Tennessee Hospital Associations.

 In Chattanooga, Reverend Taylor will also serve on the staff of the First Centenary United Methodist Church. He and wife Judy have four children who live in Philadelphia, New York city, Nashville and here in Chattanooga.