Elaine C. Thompson isn’t ready for retirement. As soon she steps down from her 10-year post as president CEO of Lakeland Regional Health at the end of the year, Thompson will step into the role of CEO of the YMCA of West Central Florida.

Thompson, 64, will succeed Kirk Eich, who resigned in February to take over as chief executive of YMCA of Upper Palmetto in Rock Hill, S.C. In the interim, the local YMCA is being run by Alice Collins, who worked with the local organization for 37 years and preceded Eich as its head.

Thompson, a Philadelphia native and physical therapist by clinical training, holds a doctorate in biomedical science from Drexel University.

“We are excited to have Elaine join us as our new leader in January,” said Ben LeFrancois, chairman of the CEO Selection Committee and vice chair of the Board of Directors. “We believe that the visionary leadership she brings to our YMCA will help us expand upon our already strong foundation, inspire new growth and address important issues in our community.”

Lakeland Regional Health announced last July that Thompson would retire at the end of 2020, when her contract ends, and be succeeded by Danielle Drummond, who until then had been the hospital’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.


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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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